alot like christmas

Its been busy.

The last two weeks of November were filled with Thanksgiving preparations, school activities, tree trimming, early christmas shopping, finding more tree goodies to match the color theme of the tree, more shopping for our youngest's 3rd birthday celebration, and the final, big outside clean-up of the yard before winter really starts here in my part of upstate new york.

And yes, then taking time to reflect on the true spirit of the holidays upon us and taking care of others who need it more. Not in that order-- as I get older I feel that all this frenzy between Thanksgiving and Christmas is really nutty. I always feel a little rushed this time of the year. Its no wonder. Sometimes, without thinking, while I go about the normal buzzing that has made this last month of the year so crazy I stand back. I decide not to go early morning christmas shopping or go crazy looking for all the sales and coupons. Or, I don't bake the fancy stuff or put on an elaborate light show for the neighbors. My husband and I purchased new lights for the tree -- the box came with 3 sets of 150 lights -- so we have like 300 tiny lights on our tree, I say -- gee, that seems a little excessive? Then I ponder - what if all the excessiveness is really what we are all guilty of accepting. Opting out of the "fluff" that has become christmas makes me so much more relaxed. Who needs that?

This year our girl scout troop is adopting a family for the holidays, which means our families donate all the food and other necessities for a nice holiday meal for as family that really needs it. Last week boy scouts collected for toys for tots and in my son's religion classes the children of the 2nd grade have picked a local charity, Bethany House, to donate items too. There are opportunities everywhere -- I like that. It reminds us of not getting too excessive with the frivolous and paying more attention to the stuff that matters.

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Up until a few days ago we in Rochester were treated to very nice 60 degree plus weather -- at the end of November. It was just too nice to stay in to do the normal "wintery" stuff. So we were out in the yard doing what most people probably did in October. Grabbed the camera hoping for some good pics to use for the upcoming Christmas cards -- but no one was in the mood to pose. But the roses were.............I don't think I have ever seen this one of my roses bloom this late in the season. December roses for sure.

It was good for the procrastinators like us because it gave us one last chance to winterize. Though it felt like an early spring day instead of late November.

Some photos of yard "work", planting the garlic {first year we are doing this} and getting ready for the winter months, last chance to swing carefree without a jacket on our swing, last chance to throw sticks and rocks into the creek in the backyard before it freezes, one last backyard fire in the fire pit.


....Hibernation....winterizing whatever you call it.

Okay, I'm ready for a Rochester winter now. Come on, Bring it on!

:)

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