Bells are ringing, people are singing. Parties all over the world.

Me last night at our apartment soiree

It’s cold and grey here. I’m rustling up some cheer. I wish the beach was near.

Morning view

I see all the pics of years gone by the island, beach, sun, blue sky.

Hmmm my family is far, yet close to the beaches. We’re out for snow. Oh no, take cover!

I’m grateful for memories, dear friends, my daughters. My holiday wish is for reunions, and often.



Progress and gratitude

The hotel across the street is coming along…loudly. I hear beeps and buzzes and hammering. My husband hears progress. I am grateful that it’s progressing and look forward to its completion. 😉

I am grateful my friends and family are in my life and are warm, fed, safe and decorated for the holiday season. I so look forward to seeing some of my family over the weekend.

I am most grateful for my Mark. He stands by me. He sets out coffee for me. He really loves me.

I keep my gratitude journal up-to-date. What are you seeing as progress and grateful for????




Looking for FUN, clever, interesting and entertaining things to do during the cold days of winter? Look no further….our friends Kathleen and Jeff introduced us to a great outing: the escape room! With different names in different locales, Manchester Breakout Escape Room is wonderful!

Thanks to designer/creator Toshimitsu Takagi, an escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Wikipedia
I had only heard an overview of it while living abroad and never searched it out. But when the temperature dipped below 40ºF yesterday, that’s where we headed.
The game master explained the rules and goals then left the room. We had one hour to ‘escape’ by working together as a team, collecting clues and solving the riddle/puzzle.
Before: the team (Jeff, Jack, Kathleen, Denise & Mark)
I’m happy to report that we all (four adults and one clever teenager) participated equally and successfully broke the code to escape with three minutes to spare.
We did it!
As amusement centers go, this is a new fav.

Four Calling birds and two under the mistletoe

It IS a wonderful life! It’s really looking a lot like Christmas….in St. Louis!!

A walking trip through illuminated paths, lawns, trees and tunnels at the Missouri Botanical Garden proved exquisite and educational.

The twelve days of Christmas song, in 3-D light formations, is spectacular. Here we are, Four Calling Birds.




Then we passed through a bright red and purple tunnel to stand under the mistletoe to kiss and learn.

That’s what you do when it’s 29ºF outside! Friends and FUN…



Movies, Music, Monkeys

Living in a new place means everything is NEW to me. This week was no exception.

I enjoyed a cello concert in a lovely room/building in a park.

STL Symphony at the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park

I saw “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time, in an enormous movie theatre, with new friends.

I ate an intimate restaurant called Three Monkeys, yet there were no real monkeys in sight.









As this year ends, I am reminded of all I’ve learned, the new friends I’m blessed with, the long-time friends I reunited with, the good health I have and my friends and family have,  the trips I took, and the four seasons I experienced (I still only like two of them.)

Building new friendships, foundations and FUN will be my mantra for the next year.

Any thoughts?



December thoughts

Few months present the multicultural “teachable moments” that December does! The following multicultural events and celebrations are among those that will happen this year:

  • UAE National Day
  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Chanukah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
  • Kwanzaa (African American)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan)
    • source: Google

There are many ways to celebrate with friends, family, alone, in a place, or at home. To those who choose to make this a month of celebrations and reflections, I say “Cheers!”

I honor, respect and welcome any and all ideas for celebrations. May this December be a peaceful, bountiful, joyous and healthy one for us all.