It is a tradition that each year, on the first Sunday in December, our city's historic district welcomes the Christmas season by opening the doors to the magnificent antebellum houses and inviting all who would like, to come inside and see them all decked out for the holidays.
On many of the veranda and lawns you will find local school bands and choirs preforming mini-Christmas concerts.
This band was my personal favorite. Of course there could be a wee bit of bias involved, since this is my own Dear Hubbie's Winter Ensemble;-)
Despite the below freezing temps with wind chills in the low 20's, they played beautifully!
The festivities included a parade of old cars with Santa leading the way in his makeshift sleigh.
After the concert I made my way along the street to take a peak at all of the lovely decorations. At each open house there were ladies dressed in period costumes with fliers that told about each of the particular homes. All were former residences which have now been converted over to businesses.
Unfortunately I was only able to photograph a few of the gorgeous Christmas displays because the intense cold killed my camera battery.
This group of carolers were members of a local church choir. I think my flash may have startled them a bit.
And so dear friends, it is official, Christmas has come to my town.
Don't you just love when the Postman has to drive up to the house. It almost always means that he is carrying a treat inside his truck that won't fit into the mailbox.
On Wednesday afternoon, I heard the familiar sound of the little truck engine whining up the hill of the driveway. I was out the door before the beep-beep could sound. He handed me a much anticipated cardboard box and I was all smiles as I carried it in and wasted no time opening it up. Inside I found this beautiful Dogwood Blossom card with a friendly personalized message, and a gorgeous Rooster pillow all wrapped up in delicate lavender tissue paper.
It had traveled all the way from Lavender Hill where my sweet friend Penny had offered to give it away to a new home.
I love it's mustard yellow fabric with ruby red roosters. With the added bonus of a red and yellow gingham back it is absolutely darling:-)
I have placed it in my favorite rocking chair, right next to my knitting basket where I can enjoy it's comfort all winter as I rock and create.
...and the news is better than expected.The radiologist has determined that the calcifications are benign. There is no need for a biopsy and I do not need to return in 6 months for a follow up mammogram. I am so grateful.
Please know that your encouraging words and prayers have touched my heart deeply. I sincerely thank you~ Rhonda
I have an area of microcalcifications in my right breast. As it was explained to me, the calcifications are somewhat common in many women and are almost always benign. It is when they are found in clusters and were not present in previous mammograms that they send up a red flag. Both of which describe my situation. The reason for concern is that they can indicate an area of rapidly dividing cells.
I will find out on Monday what my Doctor recommends. She might say that we should simply wait and re-test in 6 months, or she might recommend a biopsy of the area to identify exactly what types of cells are in that region. Though I do not wish to undergo any unnecessary procedures, 6 months would be a long time to not know for sure.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and for remembering me in your prayers. I hope to be able to sound the all clear very soon. ~ Rhonda
I received a call today. One that we hope never comes. According to my latest mammogram, it seems there is an area of concern in my right breast. The nurse said it could possibly be fibrous tissue, I pray she is correct. I go tomorrow for a repeat mammogram, she called it a compression imaging session. It will concentrate on the area in question and provide better views for the doctor.
Strange how it looked so sad in the garden. The last solitary rose, it's head drooping down. But once it was gently placed in a favorite vase, it brightens up the table and makes me smile every time I pass it.
I do hate to see the flowers go. I will miss their sunny faces and their beautiful sweet scent.
I am fortunate enough to have purchased a grain mill attachment for my KitchenAid and have used it for several years now to grind up Hard Red Winter Wheat berries
into a semi-coarse flour that I have used to bake some very wholesome and delicious breads for my family.
Having been mostly successful in my bread baking attempts~ if you don't count the loaves I made when I first got married some 18 years ago that could have served as a home protection system with their ability to render an intruder unconscious with a simple whack to the head...
I have decide to try my hand at sourdoughs. Not the typical rye sourdough but a bread called Desem. This uses a wheat starter which will take about 2 weeks to mature. Although it calls for only a few simple ingredients, the instructions warn that they must be followed to the letter in order to achieve the desired results.
If my efforts are successful, I will post about the process and results in a couple of weeks. If not, don't expect to hear the word Desem uttered by yours truly ever again.
If anyone has experience with making their own bread starters and has any advice or encouragement it would be deeply appreciated~ Rhonda
Since I am starting on day 2, I think it fitting to post about the two people I am most grateful for in my life, my Husband and my Son. How very empty and hollow my life would be without the love and laughter they bring each day.
Yesterday afternoon we took a hike along a beautiful trail that runs beside Chicopee Lake. As I was walking along behind them I realized that these are the moments that I will keep hidden in my heart for the rest of my life. When I am 80 years old and knitting on the front porch, the warmth of this memory will cause me to pause and smile and I will thank God once again for the joy they have given to me. ~Rhonda
I have finally gotten the chance to participate in Mary's Mosaic Monday. The thunderstorms that are moving through our area caused us to have to cancel this morning's Aquatics Study... so with an unexpected day off I decided to join in the fun. No real theme to my mosaic, just a little bit of this and that.
Now I am off to see the lovely creations of all the others :-)
I recently shifted my occupation. I went from a full-time Pre-school teacher to a part-time Naturalist. I still work with children, only my surroundings have changed dramatically.
Now, instead of being limited to a four wall classroom and postage stamp playground... I lead local school groups along beautiful mile long trails.
Rather than florescent light bulbs, I am able to enjoy filtered Sunlight.
Instead of reciting the days of the week, I am able to teach students about the local Flora...
We even offer an Aquatics Program where we are able to go out on the lake and study water quality and fish for plankton.
After their programs the schools often bring sack lunches and the students enjoy dinning in our outdoor cafeteria. When they finish I am able to teach them about composting and recycling.
While the reduction in salary does not afford me the ability to purchase everything my mind might desire, it does allow me the extra time and energy to devote to those things nearest and dearest to my heart ...like enjoying hikes with my favorite little blond headed student.