Photo Credit Jenelle Lacy 
I love this tribe of mine.  Ups, downs and sometimes it feels like we’re in a snow globe that has been shaken up but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  I don’t have a picture of extended family so you’ll have to imagine them in there too.

I know there aren’t many flowers there right now, but doing 30 days in November makes it hard to get pretty flower pictures in my yard.  I prefer my flowers growing in the ground instead of a vase, at least most of the time.  This fall weather has been amazing and I spent today out in the flower beds while Neil raked the lawn.  I had salvia, lavendar, beard tongue, and flax that did well this year that I am hoping will be back next year.  My corn flower did okay, so she might be back too but it’s her first year and this fall it was a struggle.
When I’m in the garden with dirt in my fingernails my mind wanders letting me sort though problems and stresses.  The benefit of my garden therapy time is beautiful flowers that thrive in the sunshine.  It will be a long winter before I see the benefit of today’s work but I know it’s coming.  Along the back I have irises planted from Harmony, mini daffodils in a few clumps, a row of crocus along the front (2 different bags and I didn’t mix them up so I probably won’t love them), chionodoxa in 2 clumps in the front bed and 2 more along the fence line, regular daffodils at the end of the fence, and some hyacinth.  I will have to come up with summer/fall plants but for now I should be good through spring to early summer.  

Sunday drives are never about where you are going, they are about the ride.  Google maps don’t get involved because we don’t care about the fastest or most direct route and time rarely matters (sometimes we have someone stopping by and then it matters)  Stopping to appreciate the landscape, wildlife, or perhaps the cows is of greater importance than the route we take.  It’s easy to apply it to life as well when everything gets hurried, audited, caught up in numbers and statistics — that’s not what matters.  Did you stop to see the calf?  To talk to people? Did you realize your neighbor was having a rough day and needed a smile?  Did you hold the door open for a stranger pushing a stroller?  I believe when all is said and done it’s not where you end up but things you did along the way that matter most.

I know that this could fit in either “hobbies” or “good food” but baking can almost be therapeutic for me.  Kneading bread dough, shaping, creaming butter and sugar.  It doesn’t hurt that the end result is delicious.

This pie was a test run for Thanksgiving and the ‘birthday cake’ for my Mother-in-law.  My new pie plates are bigger than my old ones so I needed extra dough and extra filling so this ended up with a crumb topping and a shallow pie.

It wasn’t necessarily the prettiest pie and Mary Berry would have been appalled at the bottom of my crust, but I have a few weeks to keep going.

If I don’t write it down in my planner there is a decent chance it may or may not ever get done.  I prefer a paper planner to a phone version by 100.  There is something that concretes my week by sitting down on Sunday with pens, washi tape, stickers, stamps and looking at what needs to be done and when that makes it seem more doable.  I’ve also been able to look back on dates when filling out paperwork for Neil, not to mention actually making it to everywhere we needed to that first week of chaos and fog.
Today I had made some fun Veteran’s Day plans when I opened up my planner and re-remembered that I had a medical shift at the temple today.  I was disappointed in having to cancel my plans, but by the time I came home I realized that I was where I needed to be.

I’m grateful for hobbies.  Something enjoyable to ease the load of must do’s with a get to do that hopefully frees our mind from to do lists, meetings, bills and worries of every day.  Unfortunately they are frequently the first thing to get lost when stress increases or time gets short when they are crucial to keeping life balanced.  
Neil gave Charlet and I lessons today, apparently it’s a rough transition from a life of softball to golf clubs.  Lindsey does it so hopefully I catch on soon.  I’m hoping that in trade he learns to enjoy photography as much as I do.  Hobbies are more fun with good friends at your side.

I realize I don’t have many pictures of me with my friends, and I haven’t had time today to sort through old high school pictures for the times I brought my camera on debate trips or pictures from the few events I do have pictures of me with friends.  Many of my friends aren’t local to me anymore and as I’ve said for years, they live in my phone now.  My friends that live in my phone aren’t any less real to me than those I see around town or go walking with, they just live farther away on a map.

My friends have helped me through so many hard times and celebrated the good times with me that it’s hard for me to find the words to describe why and how of my gratitude but that doesn’t make it any less real or tangible.  Instead of fumbling over those thoughts I’m simply going to say thank you for being in my life.

The two friends up above might not realize it quite yet, but they’re quickly becoming best friends and it makes me smile to watch.  I fully expect moans of protest when they see this, but it has to be said.