Monday, November 30, 2015

november ~ as it happened

What can I say about November?  
It seems  a long time ago since we flipped that calendar page over...

...and much has happened in the last thirty days.
The leaves that hung on for dear life for the first few weeks of the month...
are all gone.
And no...
we never rake leaves over here.
They just get swept away by the winds...
and land up in someone else's field.
I like that. 

But I don't care so much for the other results of the wind that blows through here in November!
We had a major storm two weeks ago...
and were without power for a day.
Some of our friends had no power for three days.
Roofs set sail...
semi-trucks on the freeway blew over...
and broken trees still line the roadways.

Though many birds have headed south...
the swarms of starlings clearly have no intention of going anywhere. 

We have our favorites that we are feeding in the backyard..
including some mourning doves.

The last week of November has been sunny, cold and beautiful!

It doesn't get much better than this!

Early in the month...
we escaped to our favorite place in the desert of California for a bit.

My sisters were all there when we arrived...
and we enjoyed a few days together.
It is not often that all five of us are in the same place at the same time.

On the morning when Bev and Mary Ellen were on their way to the airport...
they came to say good-bye.

We suddenly realized that we had not taken one group photo of all five of us.
We handed my brother-in-law the camera and thought he could quickly snap a photo for the record.

Now I know why there are very few pictures of the five sisters!
How hard can it be so hard to take a photo?
Kathy was trying to organize us...
we were all laughing...
and Terry took pictures before we were ready.
I guess we never were ready...
since I can't seem to find the good one!

Our one full-day-trip took us past the Salton Sea and through Imperial Valley.

The Salton Sea was once a resort area. things have changed!
The sea is receding...
the settlements along the shore have mostly been abandoned...
and the fish are dying.
 What looks like sandy beach from a distance is actually dried fish bones.
It is rather a sorry sight!

The rest of our day was spent touring the Imperial Valley...
where most everything is about agriculture.
Hundreds of workers dotted the horizon...
all working together to provide fruits and veggies for the tables of America.

Miles of irrigated alfalfa and wheat fields were punctuated by stacks of baled hay. 

The guys stopped to check out the hay...
and the adjacent solar energy farm.
Where everything was about about growing crops in the past...
acres and acres of cultivated land are now covered by solar energy plants...
supplying green energy for much of southern California. 
While we were out and about touring the desert with Jim and Kathy...
Dot and Terry were leaving for home.
We said our farewells in the morning and gave them the key to our unit...
so they could use it once they were checked out of their room.

When we returned to the resort at the end of the day...
we had no trouble figuring out who may have TP'd our suite.

We have three grands with a birthday in early November.
The girls remind us often that we are NEVER home for their birthday.
That is just how it seems to work out.
But we celebrated all three birthdays as soon as we returned home!
And each one got their own ice-cream cake.
Micah is six...
and the girls are fourteen.
They still call me 'Grammy Beana' on occasion...
a name they came up with when they were two.
Did I ever tell you that being a grandparent is a lot of fun?
I am so blessed to call them my grands!

The three grands from next door spent a few nights here last week...
while their parents were out of town.

We baked Christmas cookies, played games, watched a Christmas movie...
and stayed up late.

They had to slip home in between to hug their dog...
who missed them a lot!

And now our thoughts are turning to all things Christmas.

The outside lights are up...
and the mantel is done.

I copied the Noel sign which I first saw on Dawna's blog last Christmas...
and quite like it. 

Wishing you all a blessed advent season...
and a Christmas filled with joy, hope, peace and love.


  1. Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful November . Lovely photos . Thanks for sharing have a good day !

  2. I had to smile at that sister photo! It looks like you are the one that's used to being in photos . . . ready and waiting. I love that you could have fun with them. Your next door grands have sure grown since I first met them on this blog and I've paid attention to what a good Grammy you are. Your mantle looks so nice! Always fun to see how you embrace the moments within each month.

  3. I can just imagine the laughter and organizing that went on while the camera was being clicked. Fun to be all together. Your grands are growing up so quickly - how lovely they are. It's been a cold week, but the sunshine makes up for the chill, and I'd rather have this than the rain that is coming our way tonight. I hope December is filled with joy for you all.

  4. Okay, I am going to get over the shock of the girls being 14 in just a minute! I don't know what I thought ...that they were just going to stay eleven for a few years or something. They sure are beauties! And Micah is making six look fine.

    Now you sisters are cracking me up. The bossy one...what's her name? She even gets you in her sights. LOL! Wish I had my photo shop capabilities still because I'd have a photo whipped up in no time with each one looking her finest. John says that this is just how girls are...either laughing or crying. Ever talked to your dad about this?

    It's been very mild here and we have been liking it just fine. Hope that the storms of December pass you by, except for a little bit of snow...very little bit.

  5. I do so love your monthly posts and thank you from the bottom of my heart for them!
    You live such a beautiful life! A REAL life and I love seeing it month to month! If I didn't live in Texas - and have my family here - I would love to live where YOU do!!! It is so beautiful and I always look forward to your photos and hearing what you are doing!
    I actually have 5 siblings but we have never had a picture of us all together. Perhaps someday.....
    Merry Christmas, Judy!!!!

  6. I have three sisters and when the four of us are together we often snag a few pictures and they are some of my most favorite keepers. Your post is full of fun & good things. Enjoyed it!

  7. Always look forward to your news from the past month!! and once again it looks like you were busy and had lots of fun. Early November is a great time to have a birthday! Mine falls on the Nov 5th and this year was the big 50!! So glad you could celebrate with your grands when you got home. Thanks for the shout out regarding your Noel sign.....I will start decorating today and will be looking for the perfect spot to put mine this year as well. Take care!!

  8. Another full wonderful month with lovely photos! Love that shot of the starlings. Yikes!

  9. November was full of blessings and fun for you! Thanks as always for taking us along with you on your trips and for including us in your family events. I've never been to the Salton Sea although we live fairly close to it. After your description, I'm not sure I'll go. My husband went there as a child and he said it's not at all what it once was. Wishing you a joyous Christmas with your family!

  10. Despite the windy storm your November looks like it was a very good month for you, Judy! Thank you for you good wishes and prayers -- I am hoping my "new eyes" will finally enable me to see all I've been missing! Have a blessed Christmas with your family!

  11. Lovely to catch up on your news! Glad you have been having fun times! xx

  12. You've had another busy month Judy. I always enjoy hearing of your doings each month. Your mantel looks beautiful. I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas season. Hugs. Pam

  13. I am always so happy to read your month in review. I especially smiled at the pictures of you and your sisters. You have so many.... sister and pictures now too! The view at your end of the valley is just spectacular and your grandkids continue to be so cute as they grow.

  14. What a great month's review Judy! Your sisters pictures are just the funniest (love that your BIL kept snapping because this is just precious). Oh those darling grandchildren of yours - they are growing up so fast and I love how you love and appreciate each one! Your valley is SOOO pretty and I hope there wasn't too much damage from the storm - we heard all about it on the news that night and thought of you all there!

  15. So blessed you are as 5 sisters - love the photo collage... And I loved the train track photo burned golden in the sun....A beautiful month review!

  16. Glad you enjoyed your time with the siblings, those photos were funny! The photo was the train track, love it! I also love the NOEL idea....maybe next year. Been consumed with my Bible studies and being a Namaw so haven't been online much. Glad to be caught up....did I tell you I love my cookbook? Signed by one of the authors :-)
    Enjoy your December, our best to Elmer.


  17. What a fun you must have when you and your sisters are all together! You are lucky to have the opportunity to watch your grands grow up. I agree with those who can't believe how old they are! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family Judy!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson