Hi! Gracie here. Can we talk? Yeah? Great! My sister, Joy, and I are taking over this blog. At least for today. Mom hasn’t written for a loooong time. She says she can’t figure out what to say. But we have a lot to say, so she told us to go for it. Okay, we will. Oh, here’s Joy. Hi, I’m Joy. I’m up here supervising the kitchen. Mainly, I’m on the lookout for MICE. […]
To the reader: This is the last entry in a series in which I revisit earlier posts. Once again, I have chosen one that I think has something new to say in our current pandemic times. The month of November 2015 was brutal. Do you remember why? I didn’t. So let me remind you what was going on in the world at that time. In November 2015 — • In Paris, a series of suicide […]
Today I begin my second week at home, doing my own small part to combat the pandemic. I still haven’t tackled even one item on the list of household projects that I jotted down eight days ago. I always seem to find something more important to do. You see, I have a lot of things to figure out, and that takes up most of my mental energy. I keep asking myself questions—most of them unanswerable […]
It began as a 3-way chat on Messenger. It was a couple of weeks before my trip to visit Joe and Sylvia in Asheville, NC, and we were discussing plans for my stay. Sylvia and I were making decisions about places to visit and things to do. Then Joe jumped in. Wait. A set of questions about the novel I wrote?? I took a deep breath and typed: Yes, it turned out, that was exactly what he […]
Hi, readers… Long time, no see. Long time, no write. The ugly truth is that I haven’t blogged since July. Honestly, I don’t have a good reason for my absence. I’m not sure why I couldn’t get motivated to write. What I do know is that I’m back now. And it feels good. A few days ago, I returned from a delightful week visiting friends in Asheville, NC. Joe, Sylvia, and Bandit were my neighbors in […]
Thank you to the readers who have asked to see more photos from my recent cruise. In my previous post (immediately below this one), I shared my pictures from our day in Old Quebec City. Now we sail on to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. And while we do, this is a typical view from our ship, Holland America’s Veendam. Our first stop is Prince Edward Island, which is the smallest of the provinces […]
As I took my first few steps on the narrow cobblestone streets of Old Quebec City, fragments of a quote popped into my head. I wanted to share it with my traveling companions, but I couldn’t retrieve the exact sentence of dialogue from Our Town. It had been too long since I had taught or seen the play. As soon as I reboarded our cruise ship, I looked up Thornton Wilder’s words: Only it seems to […]
You are invited to a Book Signing for my new novel, TEACHING MYSTERIES 201: THE STRIKE. This coming Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 3 pm, I will be talking about the book and signing copies at Read Between the Lynes on the Woodstock Square. This is a busy time of year, but if you have a few minutes and care to stop by, I’d love to see you. If you can’t make it Sunday but […]
This time the forecast was right on. Several days ago, the weather man began talking about significant snow heading our way. When I woke up yesterday, a heavy snow warning had been issued. The disturbance was even given a name, Winter Storm Bella. And yesterday at 6 pm, precisely the time predicted, the flakes began falling. Snow fell fast and furiously—at times more than an inch per hour. City snow plows and our snow contractor, […]
This time the weather forecast was right on. A winter weather advisory posted yesterday was amazingly accurate. Unfortunately. The sleet hitting my bedroom windows was loud enough to wake me just after 6. I peeked through the blinds to see that 3″ of snow had fallen during the night. The sleet continued off and on — mostly on — for an hour. No yoga class for me this morning, I said to my cats. ••• […]
It’s that kind of morning here at Maples at the Sonatas in balmy Woodstock, Illinois. But, all things considered, I have little to complain about. Much of the country is having a more brutal February than we are. And in Illinois, we know how to deal with this weather. Yes, it’s a double Cuddl Duds® day. And, since my desk is right up against an exterior wall, I have a space heater aimed at my […]
Here in Woodstock, IL, memories of the Woodstock (NY) Festival linger. This weekend we celebrate the 45th anniversary of that musical happening in “the other Woodstock.” A short walk from our community, we have a memorial, of sorts. Just south on Ware Road, there is a neighborhood named Sweetwater. Sweetwater was the first band to perform (after Richie Havens) at the Woodstock Music Festival. Do you think the developer was remembering Woodstock when he named […]
You know summer has arrived when we celebrate Flower Power here at Maples at the Sonatas. On Saturday, our homeowners will enjoy a potluck brunch and receive free flats of annuals to plant around our homes. Our Maples Bear and Baby Bear just can’t wait! They are all set to get planting and pollinating. Thank you, again, to Wilcox Communities for putting the flowers into Flower Power. And to Cathie for one of her best […]
Happy Earth Day to everyone! And especially to Kathy Downing, our sales assistant. Mother Earth has no better friend than Kathy, who observes Earth Day every day of the year. She even dresses for the occasion! It was Kathy who instituted the recycling program in our clubhouse. It is Kathy who organizes a community event each year on or near Earth Day. One year she presented a program on recycling. For the past two years, […]
There are sentences you rarely hear in my neighborhood. Because of our homes and our lifestyle, we have no use for statements like: 😉 Oh, no, the sump pump failed and the dang basement is flooded. 😉 Be sure to hold on to the bannister while you’re carrying the laundry down the stairs. 😉 The traffic out here is murder today. 😉 I can’t find a parking place. 😉 Duck! Don’t bump your head on […]
Anyone want some free snow? We have more than enough, thank you! After getting over 60 inches this winter, we have run out of room to stack it. So our snow removal company, Langton, is “relocating” it today. It’s time to call in the heavy equipment, much to the delight of Shirley’s little granddaughters who have a closeup view of the operation.
Oh, those pesky Packers fans have struck again. This is how our mascot bear looked yesterday when we were at the clubhouse for Coffee & Conversation. A handsome fellow tastefully dressed. And here is how he looks today. What is this community coming to? Inquiring minds want to know who is responsible for this outrage!
Ten days ago, I brought a new member into the family living in my Abbey. Her name is Shadow, and she is Mom’s cat. For three weeks after Mom had a stroke, Shadow continued living in the assisted living apartment they shared. I stopped by twice a day to take care of her and spend some time. A friend of ours also visited daily. But when I learned that Mom would not be able to […]
Thank you to everyone who has kept checking my blog the past three weeks while I have been away from it. I have not lost interest in Home Sweet Abbey or in my readers. Instead, I have been dealing with problems concerning my mother’s health. I hope that things will stabilize in the near future so that I can get back to my writing. I still have many stories of life in Maples at the […]
Maples Bear is ready for the holiday season and eagerly awaiting Santa Paws. Thanks to Cathie, our costumer extraordinaire!