BOOM – Bonus!


On Thursday we attended a wonderful lunch where Anthony Chan the chief economist at Chase Bank was the speaker.

The setting for the lunch was lovely, the food was excellent and most importantly the talk was very informative and entertaining and so was the Q&A.

So what more could you ask for? Well as we were leaving one of the hosts asked if we’d like to have one of the center pieces.

This was so unexpected but so appreciated. All though lunch I’d been secretly admiring the flowers that are magnificent and that smell so good.

Now they are home and bringing joy and beauty and sweet smelling memories of a great day!

Blessing #151- Surprises

BOOM – Blackout

This morning when we got up at six the lights gave a few splutters and went out.

There was a power outage all over the neighborhood for who knows what reason as it is only raining not storming.

Panic!!!! There’s a lot to do in half an hour but the lad swings into action jumps in the shower and is downstairs in five minutes with no prompting.

First find the matches in the pitch black darkness! It’s always good to know where you’ve hidden them! That torch on the IPhone sure is helpful and now I know how to use it I won’t forget!

Next light all candles that are around the living area. Good job we had them to hand along the hearth,

Get the breakfast and lunch made! Gas is Good all the time all the time Gas is Good!!!

Finally, the biggest challenge is to get the garage doors open. Need a tall lad for that!!!

Just imagine that not so long ago most of our grandparents got by by candlelight and many people around the world still do!

Blessing # 150 – Candles and Gas and ELECTRIC Power!

BOOM – Buying a Bracelet


Watching a young man buy his girlfriend a birthday gift is such a good feeling.

The first step is cashing the check you have worked hard to earn and then comes the decisiveness of knowing exactly what that girlfriend would like.

It has to be a bracelet because he already got her a necklace and it has to be silver because she likes that best!

Of course on this special day dinner out is also a must!

Many of you will have lived through all this and must have felt like we do now. Happy about autonomy but anxious until that car pulls back into the garage.

Pays to remind ourselves also that this once was us!!!


Blessing # 149 – Growing Independence

BOOM – Bins


Today is the weekly trash collection day in our neighborhood. In the UK we’d call this Bin Day.

Many years ago, in the late 1950s,  when bins were noisy little tin cans my Mom was very impressed by a sermon our pastor Reverend Sanson preached on thankfulness.

Many professions were mentioned in his message, teachers, doctors, nurses, soldiers, and policemen but the take away was that we should never forget the “Binmen”.

My Mom made sure that she regularly passed this message on to me and many others in the years ahead,

Trash collection has come a long way since then. We accumulate so much more trash today than we ever did back then. Fortunately  we have the ability to recycle but we still waste way too much!

When I was taking the bins to the kerb today it was still dark but Venus was bright in the sky and the stars were beautiful.

It was a glorious start to the day but come rain, storm or snow those who provide us with our trash collection service will come out to take care of us.

Take a moment to reflect on the key role this plays in maintaining hygiene and in disease prevention.

We are so fortunate to have this great service unlike many people around the world who still don’t.

Blessing # 148 – Civil Infrastructure

BOOM – Burning Bush


Today the wind could easily knock you off your feet. All the leaves are swirling and there are few left now on the trees.

Amazing what change a day or two can bring!

There are some very tenacious plants around though including the beautiful Burning Bush.

For most of the year it is quite discreet but right now it’s the star in the landscape.

The leaves have turned a deep and vibrant red and are popping out all around us. They contrast so beautifully with the blue sky.

This color always makes me think of Santa and his red coat as if to say that Fall may be over but there is something wonderful to come in the weeks ahead.

Blessing # 147 – Stars that know when to shine

BOOM – Bark Back


When we go away for a trip Dibley has his own vacation at the luxurious Four Paws Resort and Spa.

This is such a great place and he is so well taken care of. The resorts has a bakery for dog treats, lots of cute rain wear, collars and bedding for fur babies, a grooming parlor, a doggie day care and of course the boarding facilities.

The dogs come in all shapes and sizes and they play outside most of the day coming in for a little rest around lunchtime.

All the guests are always supervised for safety, vaccination records are always checked and everyone gets lots of hugs and affection.

Dibley loves it there but when we come to get him he always tells us where he wants to go!


Blessing # 146 – People Who Love Our Pets

BOOM – Bluffs, Barns & Bits of Blue

On our way to NYNY this weekend we drove from Ohio all the way across Pennsylvania into New Jersey and finally New York.

The weather wasn’t the greatest on the way out but we had bits of blue along the way and the return was filled with brilliant sunshine.

It was quite a drive for one weekend but well worth it to see so many members of our family all gathered for our celebrations.

The fall colors surrounding us all the way were especially vibrant in the stretch of our journey that took us through the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania.

With the mighty rivers, the bluffs and all the farms with their ancient barns and pastures there is a beauty and wholesomeness in Pennsylvania that can make you feel like you’re a pioneer.

It is easy to imagine you have just arrived and are staking a claim on a piece of a bright the new world.

Given the familiarity of some of the town names and counties you can be sure some Ulster Scots and Irish kin did just that! So very glad they made it!

Blessing #145 – History Trips


59EEDF14-2963-4C86-92AB-80046CF4577E.jpegToday we had a big party in our family.

This was to celebrate the first birthday of beautiful little Mira who is the daughter of our nephew Siddarth and his wife Supria.

The first birthday is an important celebration in Indian culture and no wonder. Just think of all the achievements of that first year.


Birth is quickly followed by a first cry a first smile a first laugh. There are first foods first teeth first steps first words and so many other first in that first year.

Krishna also celebrated his birthday today which was lovely because he did so surrounded by a lot of family. His brother and sister in law had come from India for their little granddaughters first and his sister who lives here in the USA was at the party too with her daughters.


Very different seasons in life but for both so special and a one of a kind occasion. There is always time for another first!


Blessing # 144 – First times for everything

BOOM – Berets & Blazers

My Mum was a great one for taking pictures and keeping souvenirs.

This included many items of clothing including uniforms from school and organisation like Girls Brigade and Brownies.

It’s so great to have these. So touching to remember the days they were bought and the times they were worn and even to try them on to see if they still fit!

Who knows one day they may be make a good fancy dress costume!

Blessing #143 – Treasured Memories

BOOM – Black Bag


When I was clearing out the house in Ireland I found my Granny Barr’s handbag.

My Mum had kept it when Granny died in 1965. It held some special memories including my Granny’s confirmation card from the 1890s. The bag probably dates from the 1940s and is the only bag I ever remember my Granny having.

Granny was eighty when I was born in 1960 and she always wore the same style of clothes; a black wool skirt down to her ankles, a long white apron over the skirt and a blouse with a black cardigan over it.

Granny always smelled of TUNES a type of candy that had menthol in it and that claimed would « help you breathe more easily ».

Born Ellen McClean she was one of thirteen children. The family was very poor and she started work in a mill when she was just ten. As a part timer she went to school half time and worked half time.

My Dad was her only child and I was his only child so you can only imagine how much Granny loved me and I loved her too. There is no doubt in my mind that she could not have loved me more.

The handbag is something I could never part with and is on the way to the USA. I hope Aaron will keep it and give it to his kids someday so we never forget our roots.

Who would ever have imagined that this bag would have had such a journey.

Blessing # 141 – Love that Lasts