the dust has settled

“Mama Kangaroo & Her Joey” by Kat, age 8

The appearance of my New Year’s post surprised me because I had put it together a long time ago, when the inspiration had hit, and then scheduled it and forgot all about it. But it’s been fun catching up with all my blogging friends as life gets back to normal.

I am happily and thoroughly exhausted from the intensely exciting visit from Larisa, Dima, Kat and Finn over the holidays. Kat brought me this beautiful painting! They all pitched in and painted our staircase walls. Dima cooked some fabulous meals, incorporating my special dietary needs — he enjoys the challenge. Larisa took me out to buy yarn for a shawl she started knitting for me. (I get so cold while sitting these days!) Finn kept balsa wood and paper airplanes flying through the air. Kat and I had an fascinating conversation while we were peeling carrots together. We baked cookies for Santa, worked on puzzles, drew lots of pictures, and fed peanuts to the squirrels and blue jays on the balcony. We went to the beach to feed clams from the grocery store to the gulls but could only watch for a few minutes due to the bitter cold.

So much joyful chaos! It’s a bit too quiet around here now but I’ve got plenty of wonderful memories to cherish until we see them all again! Now I can turn my attention to explaining my project and the other projects it has led to.

29 thoughts on “the dust has settled”

  1. Oh such nice memories for you. It is nice as a person gets older to share time with the younger folks. Makes us old folks feel alive and happt – but the quiet after the dust settles is comforting too. Kat painted a very nice picture – impressive indeed for age 8.

    1. That old saying, feast or famine, comes to mind. It’s true, spending time with the younger ones puts a spring in my step and distracts me away from feeling those annoying aches and pains — good medicine. I’m framing Kat’s painting and adding it to my gallery. πŸ™‚

  2. Looking forward to the project – and/ but it was very entertaining to read about the visit and what you did . -Here is bitterly cold too – and extremely slippery roads. I envy you – just a little – a grandchild –
    Happy New Year, my blog-amigo

    1. Last night on the news they were commenting on how abnormally warm the weather in southern Europe has been. Seems like extreme weather, too hot, too cold, is happening everywhere. I hope you’re staying safe and warm, my friend. The knitted wool hat I bought in Norway on our trip is my constant companion when the bitter wind blows — the best thing to keep my ears snug and comfy!

  3. Happy New Year Barbara (and Tim)!

    So happy to get some tidbits of joy from your family’s holiday visit to Connecticut. And now my interest is fully peaked regarding the “special project”.

    Hugs to you and special wishes for a calm and stable 2023!

    1. Thank you, Janet! Wishing you and Roger a Happy and Healthy New Year, too! So glad that project is behind me and am looking forward to the next ones. It’s like some sort of energy or thought blockage has finally been removed. *hugs*

  4. Happy New Year, Barbara, to you and your family. I love Kat’s drawing. It’s beautiful. It sounds like you had a wonderful time over the holidays. Looking forward to hearing about your new project. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Robin, and Happy New Year to you, too! I was very enchanted with Kat’s drawing/painting. She seems to have inherited the artistic bent that runs in my family. It was fun watching her give her little brother (4) drawing lessons. πŸ˜‰

  5. Family time — and time off from whatever burdens we’ve been carrying! — make the holiday extra-special. Glad you thoroughly enjoyed yours, Barbara, and I’m all ears over your new project!

    1. So true, Debbie, there’s no better balm for the spirits than family time during the holidays. The change of pace is so refreshing, too. Hope you and Monkey had a lovely holiday with your family, too!

  6. I know what you mean by a quiet house after the busy holidays. Sad but sweet. Joe and I love it when my daughters take over the kitchen. So glad you made memories and Kat’s painting is remarkably good!

    1. My mother disliked cooking and so do I. My daughter was lucky enough to marry a man who LOVES to cook and he’s more than appreciated when he takes over our kitchen! Thank you, Anna, I think Kat’s painting is pretty special, too!

  7. So glad to hear that your family were able to enjoy good health in the joyful chaos of this holiday bitter cold, Barbara. Many lovely gifts!

    1. Thank you, TD! I’m kind of amazed that no one has gotten sick after the great holiday germ exchange. I hope you and Yorkie had a good holiday and that you’ve recovered from your illness. Take care, my friend!

    1. Fabulous Grammy times, indeed, Donna! Now that the staircase wall is freshly painted I have space for an art gallery, which I think will be growing in the coming years of collecting. Wishing you and your family a Happy & Healthy New Year!

  8. What a fabulous and fun painting from Kat – this young girl is a budding artist and I also recall your post where Kat was taking photos at the nature center at Easter. Barbara, you have helped cultivate that interest in nature. It sounds like a relaxing time spent with family which is what the holidays should be all about. Now back to the normal days, the humdrum of Winter, which will pale in comparison to this magical week.

    1. Thank you, Linda! I am dazzled by Kat’s artistry and creative ideas. I’m hoping we can find a workshop or something to take her to when she comes to visit us again. When my son was a child my father paid for some art lessons at a local art museum so I’m thinking of getting a membership there and see what might be available. The humdrum of winter — yes — time to pull my groundhog stuffies out to keep their eyes open for spring. πŸ™‚

      1. Yes, for such a young girl, that is fantastic. That would be fun for Kat to have some lessons at an art museum by a local artist. The weatherman said January is the grayest month – I believe it as we have not seen the sun in days, just this annoying rain and fog.

        1. Interesting, I always think of January as very sunny between snowstorms. β˜€οΈ Those days when the deceptively bright sunshine makes you want to go outside and play in the sparkly snow only to get rosy cheeks and a runny nose from the cold, in spite of the sun. πŸ˜‰

          1. We actually had some sun today Barbara – how welcome it was, but we’re back to clouds tomorrow and Wednesday, then our rain and snow to follow. My mom would get me suited up in snowsuit and scarf over my mouth and big boots and say “go on and get the stink off of you!” How we liked snow when we didn’t have to deal with it!

          2. My mother also sent us outside to play every day, no matter the temperature. I remember getting bundled up in snowsuits, too, and extra socks in our boots and scarves over our mouths. Sometimes we had those knitted hats that went over the whole head with little holes for our eyes…

          3. Kids today would be screaming “cruelty to kids” but that’s okay as fresh air was good for us – made us tough! We stayed outside until we were called inside or it started to snow and we’d get our snowsuits wet.

          4. Years ago, I had a friend from Canada who put her babies outside in the winter for their afternoon naps. She bundled them up and put them on her porch in a baby carriage. Not sure if they were any healthier for it but it didn’t do any harm.

          5. I just saw a photo a few weeks ago about some babies in their carriages outside in brutal cold. I don’t recall the country, but it showed those rows and rows of carriages with the babies inside with blankets … fresh air is good for us, so I guess for babies too.

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