The kitchen cabinet installation went just as planned! What fun to see it all come together!
It was just in time for Thanksgiving ~ and the very first thing we cooked in our new kitchen were the Thanksgiving pies! One apple and one pumpkin! We learned that the oven runs just a little bit hot, but the pies turned out great!
It seemed so appropriate that the first real meal from the kitchen in this house was Thanksgiving. SO much to be thankful for this year.
~ So grateful that both my sister and I had Thanksgiving last year with our Mom in Arizona and the year before that was all the family together, including my Dad and DIL Amanda's Mom in Colorado. To have had those lovely times together is worth so much.
~ So grateful for the many blessings in the difficult parts of the year, for our guardian angel, Rodrigo in Costa Rica and for my co-worker who connected us, for international cell phones, for special neighbors that have become like family, for the wonders of the internet that allow us to communicate in the time it takes the heart to beat with our loved ones thousands of miles away, for plane tickets that got us where we needed to be quickly and timely, for the hundreds if not thousands of family, friends and acquaintances who held our family up in prayer and with encouraging words through the dark days of March when my Mom was so sick in Costa Rica, for co-workers and bosses who were so amazingly supportive for both my sister and I, for the hospital staff in Costa Rica who took such great care of my Mom and who communicated so well with me despite the language barrier, for the funeral directors in both countries who facilitated getting my mother back to this country ~ just in time for the service. There were so many things, from big to small that made such a difference.
~ So grateful that my move from Arizona went so well and for all the help I received from co-workers who helped me pack and clean and from family who helped with the actual move.
~ So grateful for the estate to have settled so quickly, for my parent's home to sell to the first family who looked at it, for the success of the estate sales and the following garage sales.
~So grateful for the unexpected opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime, for how smoothly the entire trip went, from the last minute planning of it, to the week onboard the Queen Mary 2, the 3 weeks in England, 3 weeks in Scotland and the last few days in London, for all the people I met who were so kind and helpful and for the delightful companionship of friends that I found along the way, for amazing moments, for the renewal and rest as well as the great joy of a long held dream come true!
~ So grateful for the opportunity for my daughter and I to live with my oldest son Jonathan for several months.
~ So grateful for finding such a lovely little home in a quiet town! And for how well the renovations have gone and for the opportunity to make the changes that needed to take place (electrical, plumbing, and kitchen!) and to have found contractors with integrity who do great work and that it all was able to happen in such a timely manner!
~ So grateful for all the job interviews that I have had ~ though I haven't actually gotten a job yet, I am certain that one will be coming my way very soon ~ and for all the positive feedback I've gotten on my skills and abilities from prospective employers!
~ So grateful for a year of good health for myself, for the weight loss that has made me feel so much better and for how stable it has been despite all the changes, for some small improvements in my eye (and no torn retina!).
How wonderful it is to be able to look back over the past year and half, and though it has included much pain and sadness with the loss of both my parents, it has still been a time of joy and hope, of peace, of testing faith and finding it stronger than ever. It's bittersweet as I look into the next year ~ grief still blindsides me from time to time, but as my Mom would have said, "Life goes on", and "Each day is a gift to be treasured." She was so right! The grief passes and I am able to move on with hope and joy.
Thanksgiving morning I awoke to sounds outside, at first just a few voices, then more, then a loudspeaker system in the distance ~ I thought it was a football game at the nearby high school, but then the sound grew louder and I could hear many people. Imagine my surprise to look out the window and see thousands of people running by! It turns out that the local "Turkey Trot" that starts bright and early around 7 a.m. goes right past my front door! Learning about all of these local events is just part of settling in!
There is still work to be done in the kitchen. The drawer handles were backordered but have finally arrived. Loving the cabinets and countertops!
The kitties are settling in as well and finding favorite perches to watch the birds and squirrels!
There are lots of big fat healthy squirrels. I put a suet/seed block out for the birds, but the squirrels managed to eat the entire thing in just a few days!
We are slowly getting things hung on the walls, such as this big mirror from my Mom.
With the changing season, this little house is definitely starting to feel like home!
There are still shelves to be hung in the kitchen and things to find places for. But each day, there are more empty boxes and new things crossed off the to-do-list (and inevitably a few more added).
I knew I was really settling in though, when I got out the oil paints for the first time in nearly 5 years and spent a bit of time painting a scene from one of my days in England! Like playing the piano, I am finding that the skills are still there just waiting to be used!