Festive and Free Fun

🎉 Festive parties for work include ‘hellos’ and ‘nice to see you agains.’ They are a time for colleagues to reconnect socially and to introduce their spouses. For me, this happened last Friday night. We walked into the lovely (newly built) country club and smiled for the professional photographer. Ushered into the ballroom, we greeted the party planners and some colleagues of my HH.  The beautiful spread of food included fresh shrimp, salmon, and ahi, then prime rib, veggies and desserts (in which I didn’t partake).

🎉 Whenever the sun’s out, I must be out. So Saturday morning my HH and I headed to Forest Park for a snack and a walk.  A shared grilled burger at the Boathouse overlooking a lake began the fun. Then, a three-mile walk around the Park, stopping for photos, leaf kicking and observing others.  The rain appeared and only changed our setting: we enjoyed some Lebanese yummies and another walk, this time around the Central West End. Who knew they give away kettle corn and tastes of Whiskey during the holiday season?

🎉 In a more personal setting, dinner with friends rounded out the weekend. Catching up, sharing stories, laughing and planning for more fun, topped off the weekend festivities.

Free fun is available for the inquisitive. Meals are a common way to reconnect. Happiness, friendships, and joy are gifts we give ourselves.



Happy December 2018

A holiday party, with my favorite guy, 

SSM Holiday party 2018

A night with rain, a sad ‘good-bye.’

December begins, the year almost ends,

But first, a trip on some water with us so-called bookends.

Denise & Annette

Messages: do what you love, with whole-hearted, like-minded people. Loneliness is beyond better than fake friends. Appreciate your family and make new memories with them. Enjoy everything!









Embody gratitude

Looking out the window, I see treetops, buildings, streets, and cars. Clouds and sky and sunshine. Potential.

I am grateful.

I have eyes to see; skin to feel the cold air, ears to hear the street sounds, and a nose and mouth to smell and taste my hot coffee that accompanies my writings.

I am grateful.

Hearing my phone ring and seeing a loved one’s name appear puts a smile on my face.

I am grateful.

Knowing that today is all mine: I am grateful. I share gratitude. I speak gratitude. How do you share gratitude?




Final scores:

Final score: (my alma mater) Texas A&M University 74 v LSU 72. This turned out to be a history-making game, as it included seven overtime periods and five hours of play.


Family photos: I’ve seen my friends & family on social media swinging, cooking, laughing, eating, oogling over sports cars, doing yoga, getting married, getting engaged, touring new places, and enjoying their lovely living rooms.

I even watched a Ted-Ed video about nostalgia.

Final observations from me: I’m grateful we were with family. I’m thankful I met my Pinterest/Facebook friend Mary. I’m excited about our new Insta-pot (our gift to ourselves). I’m happy to be with my Mark, always and forever.

Mary & me











Our holiday gift to ourselves.


How did your weekend evolve?



The day after

The grand meeting Wednesday of Pinterest Mary & her husband, Dean, happened and left my heart full.  {http://www.alohadenise.com/2018/11/22/meeting-mary-from-screen-to-sofa/} The huge Thursday Thanksgiving feast at Hillard & Mary’s (another Mary in my life) thoroughly exceeded my dreams. Now is Friday: cloudy, quiet, lonely…only me and leftover pie.

I loved scrolling through social media to see my friends’ family photos and gatherings. I’m grateful for airplanes, cars, cameras, grocery stores, mobile phones, and ovens.

Time to plan my next adventure. Does it include pie?



the day after pies


Meeting Mary: from screen to sofa

Four years ago, Thanksgiving, while scrolling Pinterest (an online bulletin board for hobbyists, style mavens, crafters, and wordsmiths), I repeatedly “liked” some pins a woman posted of words and their meanings. She “liked” my pins too, and so it began.

We sent messages back and forth thru Pinterest regarding words, places, flowers, then I found her on Facebook. The message to accompany the friend request declared that we have a lot in common, I’m not totally weird, I’d like to be friends. She accepted.

Since then, we’ve learned about family, friends, travels, foods, and adventures, all on the screen of Facebook.

Until last night…

On a road trip from her state to mine, she made a stop-over to meet me in person. She and her husband walked into our building, jubilance over jitters, and we embraced tightly.

We sat on the sofa, chatting, laughing, sharing stories for over two hours. The conversations continued over tacos, with plans to meet again.

I stand by my belief that social media is a tool. Used wisely, it can bring together people who began on the screens and ended up on the sofa and in our hearts.



Meeting Mary & Dean in St. Charles, MO.
Happy Hour with friends
Conversations continued over tacos





Meeting Mary

Thankful, grateful, blessed

Thankful: for my amazing family and spending time with them.

Grateful: for my wonderful friends and sharing experiences with them.

Blessed: for my fabulous life.





Happy: from the inside, a choice I make daily.

Big things are on my event horizon ~ I’m over-the-moon excited*.

It’s not what we have in our lives…it’s who we have in our lives that matter. What are you thankful, grateful, blessed for?



*happening tonight, details forthcoming

Texts vs Telephones

Which do you prefer, texts or telephones? I love hearing the sound of voices. I love when my phone rings. I enjoy hearing updates, stories, news, and questions. Of course, I like texts too, when they are nice.

Another preference of mine is meals, merrymaking, and conversations. In person, memory-making fills my heart with joy. I love sharing a dinner then a card game with friends. Or, a “guess what I did this week” story over a glass of grape.

So, keep those cards and letters and texts and calls coming. This upcoming holiday season, call someone you haven’t spoken with in a while. Send a lovely, cheery card. Make that call. That’ll surely make someone’s day.

Who will you call?




The skill of conversation

Many people enjoy the benefits and features of social media. I am one of those people. I connect with far away family and friends from different times in my life.  A big joy is having phone conversations with them, reading long hand-written letters, or, meeting in person*.

page two of a long hand-written letter from my friend since 1985


Whether meeting new friends on the world-wide-web or at a party, using words, hugs, events, and love enrich our lives. Words matter. YOU matter. I matter.



*save this thought for a future post.