Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Re-Cap

Naughty or Nice?
A highlight on Christmas Eve is a visit from Santa Claus. He arrives amongst  jingling bells and carols led by Overboard!  Our friend Tom has been suiting up in character for as long as I can remember. He was the first Santa Claus my children ever met. In 1999, when Santa Tom jingled through our yard and into the Christmas party, Lucas, who was three, ran inside to the fireplace, pulled down his stocking and scurried it outside, offering it up to Santa Tom.
 How cute is THAT?
Aunt Cindy, Cousins Marinna and John
 Yes, the Red Suit means magic for little ones.
Nephew Benson is the only believer these days, but the nineteen other people there Christmas Eve watched his reaction and remembered the joy of being a believer.
Christmas morning is fun with our two non-believing teenagers. For the past five years we have held a treasure hunt for them to find their gifts. Being that they know most of their gifts, "The Hunt" sprinkles a little kid-magic into the morning. So, after we read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible, we set them loose with the first clue:
"This open and closes six days a week."
Can you figure out where the clue was hidden? 
The mailbox.
From the mailbox, they were sent to "Go to the bowels of Mordor."
 Yes, this clue was brought to you by my Hobbit loving husband. The answer was the BBQ and the kids immediately knew where to look. I had no idea, but whatever. They share a language.
This year we created the most challenging hunt at their request. They love to be stumped and to run around having to think clues through. It's fun for us to sip coffee from the couch and watch them shuffle frantically around, as if they are being timed.  The final clue led them to our closet, as it is one of the few places that can hide a seven-string-electric guitar and skateboard ramp.
After the hunt, we we head up to Overboard's house for breakfast and to open more gifts. Benson loved the Legos we gave him, but not as much as the matching scarf set we gifted Miss Piggy, Lui and their kid-dog Cinco. I think they liked their winter accessories and will get some use from them now that Southern California is on the cold side. 
Cold to us, anyway.
The most thoughtful gifts I received were from Teckie. Along with The Carpenters Christmas CD and "The key to his heart" was this rock with the word "Relax" carved in it. 
 I need to relax and we all know it. 
RELAX is exactly what I have done since surgery. I have another small surgery tomorrow, so you bet this coming week will hold the same ... puzzles, napping and movies.
Today I watched "Get On Up."  
Tonight it's "Homesman, 
and tomorrow's feature is "Unbroken."
Actually, being forced to relax has been a good experience. 
A blessing. 
 I hope to incorporate more of this sort of thing into 2015 :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Simply Approachable

"Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him"-- and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds."-- Max Lucado

This quote places the lowly work of shepherding
 on the "Best Paying Jobs" list. 
That is, if you comprehend where true riches lie. 
Witnessing the birth of Jesus? 
Perhaps by being a regular, non-cluttered, overbooked, simple person
 God is able to approach us to share magnificent miracles ...
 like those shepherds over two thousand years ago. 
They had time to hear him.
Wishing you a SIMPLY spectacular Christmas Eve 
with eyes and ears wide open
 to receive unexpected heavenly gifts!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Time Killers

Rest for two weeks... doctor's orders. 
Okay, then. For me, this is an out-of-balance challenge! 
I have come up with ways to kill time while I'm stagnant.
The 1000 piece puzzle starts today.  Being that I love candy, this particular puzzle sweetly clicked. It's all old candy boxes and wrappers. The six foot "puzzle lab-table"  is set up and ready to be hunched over.  Puzzling seemed like a good way to kill time over the next couple weeks.  Any local friends who want to slow it waaaay down this busy Christmas week, please come on over and puzzle with me :)
The 1000 piece puzzle takes one piece at a time
Seeing movies galore will kill time too! 
Last night we watched the final Hobbit movie, "The Battle of the Five Armies." Talk about violent! Heads chopped off left and right, Orcs killed, Elves tossed away, Dwarfs beaten and Wizards tortured. Unless, you are a die-hard Hobbit fan, it may not be the pick-of-the-week for ya. Thumbs down from me, but it received three thumbs up from my guys. You be the judge :)
Hmmmm, I am in search of mellow-time killers to see me through the next two weeks. There is always blogging to take up a Chunk O'Down-Time. That will be an interesting time filler. I have saved many pictures in my "Things that make me laugh" file, and various stuff in my "Inspirational" file.
 Get ready to chuckle and feel warm and fuzzy.
After cruising Blanche around Gilbert, Arizona
May I tell you what absolutely will NOT be happening? 
Unicycle riding. 
Por Que? No es posible!
  Side note: Did I mentioned that we hauled Blanche to Arizona over Thanksgiving?  Riding a unicycle there sounded wonderful because roads are flat and wide.  I enjoyed a cruise on Thanksgiving morning. Folks were out in full-moving force, riding bikes, walking dogs and running. There was much "unicycle encouragement" from passers by... including that guy who started singing loud circus music from his yard. That was a first!
For now, Old Blanche sits in the garage instead of our living room, as it will be a couple months before I can ride. Oddly, my unicycle is  the very thing that inspires me to write. I will need to find other ways to get the creative juices flowing. Until then, I will chillax, build a puzzle, and hang around just killing time.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Packing It All In

This past month of "elf work" has been joyfully consuming.
 I was running against the clock to squeeze in traditions, decorating and parties  before taking a hospital break for minor repairs. 
Decorating gingerbread houses is tasty and fun and always done the first week in December... so I can bark at my kids for eating off the candy for the rest of the month.  
These two kiddos have come a long way since our first gingerbread building experience twelve years ago.  
This year we imported additional Christmas spirit in hat form. It made for a silly night and the houses came out lovely!

In fourth grade, we decorated our class tree. 
 Our theme was "Let heaven and nature sing."
The kids made plaster ornaments with traditional Christmas sheet music on them. Then taking pipe cleaners, made some colorful treble clefs to accent. Personally, I think we had the best tree of all the eight classes, maybe I am biased? 

Our annual neighbor Christmas dinner and walk around the hood was fun. Many homes "over do" lights and decorations, and its an excellent reason to saddle up the Weenies, grab some cocoa and cruise the neighborhood. There was a meteor shower that night, so we spotted shooting stars up above. Very cool.
We have been living next to these folks since 1999 and watching these kids interact is a highlight. It's awkward at first, but soon enough they are giggling and watching ... what else? ELF!
 Speaking of Buddy the Elf, I treated my family to this Christmas decoration because we love watching that movie this time of year. I am sursprised we've only watched it twice thus far.
 There is more ELF to come, I just know it.
Here's another favorite decoration. This Precious Moments Nativity was a gift from my mother-in-law on our first Christmas, 20 years ago.  The backdrop is some art work Daniel made in third grade and ties this diorama together.
 A treasure. 
JOY is the ideal description of Baby Jesus coming to Earth.
AND, It wouldn't be Christmas without the traditional Italian Pizelle cookie! 
It's the ONE time of year I bust out the iron and bake my heart out. This year I had to do it twice because I messed up the first batch and they came out "not so good" AKA: horrible.  They were definitely not pizelles worthy of sharing. I scratched that first round and tried again. 
The second time they were "Pizelle Perfect." 
Buon Natale!
(That's Merry Christmas in Italian)
Then, the Christmas card struggle.
 I was NOT going to send out cards and felt okay throwing my hands up in the air over it. Then, we received cards from old friends/family who are ancient and may not have many seasons left. I know it means alot to old folks to receive a family picture card. Daniel and I whipped one up in a night.  I didn't order enough, because, remember,  I was not  going to send one out  in the first place. This card shortage stresses me out.
 The same thing happened last year - will I ever learn?
My high school peeps gather this time of year for dinner and gift exchange. It never gets old. We have been together through thick and thin, ups and downs, and I don't think I can find more accepting and loving ladies.  
True blessings is what they are. 
All. Year. Round. 
This dolled up Vixen was a gift. 
Totally adorbs, huh?
I squeezed in these festivities knowing that after the 18th I could only SIT and HEAL (Like a dog ... pun intended). 
"I just like to smile. Smiling is my favorite."
 - Buddy the Elf
Now, it's off my feet for two weeks!
 My VERY pregnant sister, Cute-Pie,  made us dinner last night. I sat back and enjoyed, however, not lifting a helping-finger felt odd. I don't sit still naturally, but am very thankful she stepped in. It was delicious and some valuable kid-cousin time was shared.
 These current conditions make for a different sort of Christmas. However, the real meaning hasn't altered one bit. Celebrating Christ's birth,  praising God for health and togetherness will always be my personal priority this time of year.
Happy Birthday Jesus!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Thidbits

Welcome To Thursday Thidbits, the alternative to Friday Fragments.
It's "the path to make you thmile and bring you up to thpeed on Unithycle Roths' adventhures."

Turkey Day is ONE WEEK from today.
 This holiday of food, football and family is so much fun,
 unless you are a  turkey:
Speaking of good food?
Tuesday is meatball-sandwich-hot-lunch day at school, and it's my pleasure to be "the policing lunch lady."  How fun to watch the K-3 crowd negotiate the meatballs/sauce in sandwich form.  It's even cuter, after I send them to the bathroom to wash up, they return thinking that "they got it all." Not even close. Could you imagine returning to the office, looking like this? 
Oh, to be a kid again!
Yes, staying young at heart takes effort and
we do our best to do just that over here.
 You know it's true...
 You will find more happiness
 in growing down not up.
We cancelled our plans to play in Santa Barbara last weekend and caroused with Daniel instead. It was a bummer to miss our biking adventures with Miss Piggy and  Lui, however hanging out with our fourteen-year-old son was totally enjoyable sans the brewery! The three of us saw St. Vincent (a must see,  if any part of you is Catholic), then clowned around on skateboards and unicycle out front in the dark.
Like kids. 
Teckie avoided breaking bones while Daniel was fine tuning his "ollie." That is a skateboarding trick where the rider and board leap into the air without the use of the rider's hands. 
Crazy, huh? He's got it down too!

As for Current Events? I saw this and cracked up, thinking of my beautiful, successful, single 39 year-old cousin, Nina. She would love nothing more than to settle down. However, she won't compromise and perhaps that's a good thing considering the inventory.
Last week I found this "note" in my inbox and wondered if someone was playing a joke on me. I scratched my head and thought maybe ... maybe not? Perhaps this a true opportunity to help a fellow unicycle-riding-Christian-gal. I can't imagine there are many of us; we should really stick together.

"Hi, I'm Heather  from Iowa. I am a 16 years old and began riding the unicycle in the 4th grade. I follow your blog and love hearing about your family, unicycling, and stuff. Recently I've been asked to share the Gospel at my church during the Operation Christmas Child event. But get this!--through my unicycling! I'm kinda lacking idea's on how I can do that. I look up to your faith in God and the stuff you say so I thought maybe you could give me some ideas or inspire something. haha sorry I hope this isn't creepy :/
Thanks for your encouraging and inspiring blog:) 
Not creepy! 
At. All.
 I scratched my chinny-chin-chin and came up with ideas to share and wrote her back. 
Now,  I have a unicycling-Christian-teenage-friend in Iowaof all the places! 
Is Iowa THE "potato state?"
 Or, is that Idaho?
I get my "I" states confused.
 Either way, the email blessed me in a BIG way 
(Smile on face with rosy cheeks).
Thanks Heather from Iowa!
Final Thidbit:
Spending time in various doctor's offices, I laughed at this cartoon. 
A dread of mine is standing (with two feet) on my doc's scale. Wearing lightweight clothes, and wondering if the scale is "calibrated" I squint as I step on. Mostly because I can't see up close without "cheaters," AKA reading glasses.
Am I the only one who doesn't look forward to the "mandatory weigh in?"

Happy Thursday before Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

God Knows What He's Doing

I put this post together last night...

Today was a day of answers!
Lucas did not get the booking for the commercial,
but it sure did make for a super-exhilirating two weeks!

This Bible verse reminds me not to bum-out or stress-out
over what's next for him.
 Both my boys have a custom plan that is already designed and in the works by our Creator. It's not just for them, but for all of us:
 For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)
The second truth that arrived? 
You won't find me riding Blanche in the half-marathon in January
(insert sad face). 
And,  I was up to six miles!  
Of course, I will continue to ride around for exercise and fun,
but my goal dissolved at my doctor's office.
In December I will take care of some medical issues that will  
park me on the couch for a few weeks.
 However, until then, for the next month I am free to
 cruise the "hood" and continue to practice idling.
Darn, that is not an easy thing to do! I've been trying for years.
Peace, Sweet Dreams and Keep the Balance even when you don't get the answers you were hoping for.
God knows what He is doing.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Do You Realize?

 Happy Sunday!
My sister sent me this treasure and it qualifies as worth sharing.
 Enjoy and praise God from whom all blessings flow!
To realize
The value of a sister/brother:
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother 
Who has given birth to
A premature baby.

To realize the value of one week:
As an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:
Lose One.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.

~Author Unknown

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Thidbits

Do you recall my Thursday Thidbits that started in July 2013? 
Well, they're baaaack! 
Not in a poltergeist way, but Charlie Brown sort of way.  If you need the back story on what this means, please read my explanation from 2013:
 "Many bloggers post "Friday Fragments" and I've always liked the random writing style. Therefore, I have created "Thursday Thidbits" (not tidbits, because keeping "TH's" in the title appealed to me). I know, it sounds like you have a lisp when you say "Thursday Thidbits."
Try it. 
Thee what I mean? It's thorta fun.
Get the idea? It's an excuse to unload what's spinning around in life or sprinkle inspiration on Thursday, instead of Friday. There really is no difference in Friday Fragments or Thursday Thidbits ... except for the lisp.
Tho, there ya go!
 My can rode on Blanche yesterday afternoon, new wheel and all, for the second time this week. The fresh tire makes the ride a bit squirrely, but I'll adjust. I stopped/slipped off Blanche and took this picture as Mr. Sun was going down. 
"My what a big shadow you have!"
This silly picture features my dream legs, all long and show-girl-like, next to what looks like one of those "Big Momma" 36-incher unicycles.  I'd love one of those! Mounting it would be impossible, but it' fun to imagine.
There was mucho encouragement yesterday afternoon too. Some unicycle rides are just like that. I heard a "That's awesome," received  some waves, and one lady saw me from inside her house and ran out. She started to cheer me on from the street! Perhaps she was drinking? Either way, I appreciated it! It reminds me how powerful and uplifting our words are, even to a stranger.
So, be careful little mouth what you say. 
Anyone remember that song? 
 My unicycle plan is to "keep on keeping on" riding longer distances on Blanche. It is quite fun and the cooler weather feels great. There is a possible "medical glitch" that might spoil the January half-marathon. However, it's not going to slow me down, not yet, anyway.
Finally, I could not resist purchasing The Wiener Sisters holiday wear. They were due for a wardrobe change, the Santa suits were getting old. I dress them up in December a couple times.  I'm not sure they enjoy it as much as we do.
So THAT is Thursday Thidbits
It wasn't tho bad, wuth it?
Teckie hinted that I clear something up regarding my flat tire last week.  He purchased the new tire and tube and replaced it all by himself.  He did NOT "drop it off at the bike shop" as incorrectly reported. He deserves the "credit" (is anyone keeping track?) He did a stellar job. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans, Grandmas and Free Dreams

Today is Veteran's Day! 
A day to thank to all those who have fought to defend and maintain America's many freedoms. These people are blessings, every one of them.
Here's a photo of my favorite vet, my father-in-law, may he rest in peace.
Freedom isn't free :)

Dying for your country is huge; the ultimate sacrifice.
Speaking of death..... 

Attending a funeral yesterday was a wonderful reminder that:
A) This life is temporary.
B) I want to die when I am old. By that, I mean, not young. 
C) The greatest blessings in life are health, family and love.
When attending a funeral for an elderly person, there is a sense that this is "the way" life is supposed to wind down; of old age ... one's body giving out because of so much "life-living" for eighty-nine years. That's how it went yesterday. Teckie and I were honored to be there for our brother-in-law, Lui, and to celebrate the life of his Grandma Esther. She was an obedient God-loving woman who  was filled with deep love and family values. 
  Esther's eternal life of peace has begun, her earthly life officially ended.

Can I share something that has not ended yet?
 Lucas's callback audition in Hollywood.
 These things are always a long shot, but dreams are free!  Dream Big, I say! Until there is a definite NO involved, let's have fun with it... 
let's dream "the call" arrives!
Commercial or not, memories were made and Lucas survived the ride to/from  Los Angeles with a male-seventeen-year-old driver at the wheel.  That is something we've purposely avoided because big-city drivers are crazy and unpredictable ... AND SO ARE male teen drivers.  Bad mix!
This knowledge is backed by statistics and gained from personal experience!

As I enjoy this day off from work, I am thankful for all of our Veterans, the life of Grandma Esther and fact that Dreams are Free!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Flat Happens

Not even close to reaching my goal of riding Blanche 12 miles this week, I forced myself up early this morning for a cruise. It was not easy. I am in a unicycle slump! I realized that the last time I rode my unicycle in a half-marathon I was ten pounds lighter and three years younger! That seems to be making a difference.
 There is this determined part of me that is full of vigor, optimism and energy (insert big-winking smile here). Then there's this other old-lady-part inside who feels fat and aged. She is a negative nag (enter frustrated face here).
  Those two are battling in my head.
Does that ever happen to you? 
At mile three on my ride today, I hopped off to find my tire losing air right before my sore thighs.
 Two burs punctured Blanche and she was melting, unicycle-style, like the witch at the end of The Wizard of Oz! I walked Droopy back home and Teckie took her into the bike shop for a new tube and tire. She's a whole-new single wheelie! 
Youthful, positve me is leaping inside.
The old lady part still feels flat.
Why yes, I AM feeling out of balance at the moment.
Hey, it happens :

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bands and Ninja Turtles; The Circle of "Kid" Life

Yes, Ninja Turtles and Garage Bands are on my mind. 

Nephew Benson came over late this afternoon. We played basketball, took a flashlight walk in the dark, cooked up some grilled cheese, then settled into  a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle DVD. I enjoy this little fella who loves golf and  taking his clubs to the driving range. Another passion are these Ninja Turtles, that I honestly don't remember despite having sons and two DVDs in our collection. Tonight while eating Teenage Mutant Ninja Popcorn, we watched  these ridiculous Super Powered Turtles. We laughed when he realized he was wearing his Ninja Turtle shirt too!
Oh, to be four again!
Or, seventeen! 
That is a carefree age also.
 Responsibility is there, without mortgage payments, jobs or big worries. Just teenage stuff without magic turtles, yet pressure of the SAT test and joy of electric guitars.
 Yes, I'm talking about Lucas.
He's not acting :)
 His  audition in Hollywood for Tobacco Control was interesting. He and three friends answered the call for a "Garage Band." When they arrived at the Casting Studio, others that were auditioning were "actors" with makeup on ... playing the part of "Garage band." Lucas and friends were true-garage-band-playing-teens with some acne, instruments, and big amplifiers, and no acting experience. None! Nada! ZERO!

 His text after the audition was
 "They asked for bands. So bands showed up. But what they REALLY needed were actors. We solidified the fact that we are musicians, not actors. Hahaha!"

Today he texted 
Yes, in all caps ... he was screaming!
 A callback is a shock for all involved.

Oh, to be four OR seventeen years old!
 Both ages are these blank slates that allow anything from Super Power Turtles to Garage Band Auditions.
 Anything imaginable is possible! 
Sitting deep into my worn brown couch, with The Wiener Sisters curled up, I realize it's a blessing to watch these young lives unfold in front of me ... 
 It's the circle of "kid" life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Does It Belong In November?

There is so much to share on our home front. But, let's start with some fourth grade musings. Then, we will move on to surfing raccoons. I mean ... surfing and raccoons. But first, working in fourth grade. The students picked, then cut out "Ye' Old Cornucopia" fillings.  Pumpkin was their favorite choice and that foreign large fruit with hard skin and funny name, Gourdy? He was reject by all. Not one kid chose a gourd. Would you, if you were nine?
This belongs in November, for sure!
They wrote what they are thankful for on their cut-out and we created an abundant cornucopia with inspirational Bible verse hanging above. It's displayed on our door and a wonderful reminder what this month IS all about, blessing! Thankfulness for blessings = November

Let me be clear that a raccoon  does not qualify as a blessing. Here's why.
 They want to attack The Wiener Sisters.
And, if you know me, you know how much I love my doggies!
This sweet critter belongs in November, and every other month of the year :)
At four AM on Monday morn, I awoke to Sara and Goldie barking like crazy. Half asleep, I let them out and they ran to the side of the house and were barking at something against our shed.  It was dark, so I shushed them back into the house.
Minutes later they were still going berserk. I  closed off the doggie-door from our garage to the outside, thinking they could bark all they wanted, but not get out into yard with whatever was out there.  Alas, I could go back to sleep!
A minute later? Hissing, growling and intense barking/fighting was in full swing. It sounded horrible. I ran back, flipped on the garage lights to find a raccoon. Yes, I unknowingly locked a pissed-off raccoon INTO the garage with our dogs! I freaked out in fear and started screaming LOUD for help and for them to stop fighting.
 I didn't want to touch it. It was VERY angry. So were Sara and Goldie.
 All I could think of was the scene in Elf, "Does somebody need a hug"?
 No thank you!
I panicked. My screams were blood curdling enough to wake everyone up. They ran in half asleep thinking I was being attacked.  They corralled our dogs and kicked the raccoon out. All were shaken up.
Thankfully, Goldie escaped with a only a cut on her neck and ears. Sara is fine. Last night, My Teckie "set the trap" (best investment ever as over the years it has caught many opossums, squirrels and our cat, Boo Boo). The stupid raccoon returned and took the bait.
 Did you know it is illegal to catch a raccoon and/or kill it? I think that's ridiculous. That nasty thing could have shred my dog in seconds! Thank goodness we have two dogs to overwhelm it! Now, I would have no problem "doing it in" (as they say in the mafia)  but Teckie would have none of it. So, we had a caged raccoon in our front yard until Daniel and I set it free late this afternoon in farm land. He darted out of the trap and ran up into a tree. Good Riddence.
On a "rainbows and unicorns" kind of note, Daniel hopped back in the Pacific Ocean after a three-month-arm-cast-induced-surf break. He was giddy with excitement. The weather was amazing at four o'clock on a Monday and he pretty much had the beach to himself. It was gorgeous out!  So "vacation-like" and picture perfect with the Channel Islands in the background ... a creamy-orange-pink sunset and palm trips framed him paddling to catch the next wave. 
Now THAT felt like a blessing and it belongs in November.
Today, I hit up Target for sympathy cards and  various "what-nots." It was more of "should-nots" but mucho was on sale, so I had to make unexpected purchases.  I found this darling pumpkin polka-dot decorating kit. It was justified because Halloween is behind us and it sounded fun and crafty to update our big-honkin-pumpkin in 
"Harvest Chic!"
 This belongs in November. Agree?
Please do, as I live with three guys and they could care less. Not one of them have noticed it and it is THE first thing seen when you enter our house. 
 We covered a lot of ground in this post and I didn't even  tell you about Lucas's band audition for a commercial in Hollywood today. Here is his "head shot" we made last minute.  We are not professionals, as the shadow in picture proves. But, we had fun and he made a fantastic memory with his buddies. 
 I also didn't explain why I skipped my unicycle ride today. I was doing so good! This time change is throwing off my game. I seriously want to go to bed at seven ... I mean, the sun goes down at five now! It doesn't inspire my inner unicyclist, at all. 
"Farumph" to that!
 Hopefully, motivation will arrive soon. 
 Until then, I'll enjoy the abundant blessings "that do belong 
in November."