And since it's Friday I also have some Fragments, but first- my idea.
The world, including and maybe especially the grand ole USA, feels like not a very nice place lately, don't you think? So much anger and sorrow. So much impatience and hate. People weighed down, not just by their circumstances, but by the vague notion that we've lost the ability to treat one another with kindness. In our part of the country so many have lost so much and in all parts of this world there are people whose hope in the goodness of humankind is chipped away a little bit more everyday.
But...Christmas is coming! So many people sigh when they read that, but let's not think about our undone to-dos for a minute. Let's instead think about the fact that Christmas is coming! The gift of Christmas is hope. Not in a government, or an agency, or a family member, or an insurance company. It's hope in a baby who is The Light of the World and that hope is offered to every single person on this planet we call home. That's the thought I want to carry into the new year.
I want to be nice this December. I actually want to be nice year round, but I've decided to do something deliberate this month and you're invited to join me. I'm going to host something we'll call The Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness this month. I want to invite and challenge you to perform twelve acts of deliberate kindness during the month of December. While I'd like to think I show kindness everyday I want to make a point of looking for ways to brighten someone's day...hour...minute. Twelve acts of kindness in 25 days. That doesn't sound so hard, does it?
I'll have my daughter make a button you can add to your blog, hopefully on Monday (Daughter1???) if you decide to participate. Beginning Thursday, December 20th there will also be a linky list posted here on This Side of the Pond. You're invited on that day (and all the way up til Christmas) to link a blog post sharing your thoughts on your own Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness.
So who's in?
In other news I have a few fragments to share. I'm pretty sure fragments are blogese for camera dump which is kind of what I have today. Miscellaneous pictures from the past week that I need to show someone. You're that lucky someone.
Remember my girls were home for four and 3/4 whole entire days? Here's daughter2 going for a spin in the little red car. Here's hubs asking me why it still takes so long for me to snap a photo? I fear I lack the photography gene.
It was warm-ish on Thanksgiving Day, warm for November anyway, but when you're in the little car with the top down you need a ski band round your ears and a blanket across your lap and the sunshine on your face. So fun!
Remember our landscaping project? The one we were frantically wrapping up even while the hurricane winds were gaining speed with New Jersey in her sights? Well it's done. Miraculously every new little bit of ground cover and every barely in the ground evergreen stayed put.
Getting those evergreens up and onto that deceptively steep hillside took the entire team plus one bulldozer operator. I bought them donuts. They deserved it.
We are so happy with the end result. Essentially there is a hill that runs along one side of our driveway and we had plants removed, trees trimmed, ground cover added, pine trees planted on the steepest part of the curve, a ginormous and beautiful boulder de-dirted, cleaned, and power washed. Yes they power washed our rock. Thanksgiving day was just gorgeous and the girls hung out on that rock.
Ha-Daughter1 looks like she is not entirely believing whatever Daughter2 is saying.
They told me I could sunbathe here in the summertime which I'm certain the neighbors would love. Right. Maybe if I looked like these two little miniature people?
One of my favorite parts of the project is our new pillars. They went from this-
Well, there are lights on top but I took this picture before the electrician had come. He was delayed by someone named Sandy.
Hubs added the lovely reflectors last weekend and you may be asking yourself why. If you live where it snows a lot you don't have to wonder. At some point this winter it is quite likely you will not be able to see the pillars because they'll be buried under feet of snow. The reflectors help the snow plow operator know where to plow and where not to ding brand new pillars with his machine. ahem.
Hubs got those reflectors in just in time because on Tuesday our new landscaping looked like this-
It was a beautiful snowfall, the big fluffy flake kind.
It was also good hubs got the outside lights up over the bright, sunny, warm-ish Thanksgiving weekend. It meant that on Tuesday this little pine tree by the front porch could look like an actual Christmas tree.
We did get our trees up inside too. Sorta kinda. They need zhuzzing and one needs a topper, but they're mostly done. I'll leave you (finally!) with this picture of my two favorite girls-
I love everything about this photo. They're holding up the ornaments they each made in kindergarten, one in 1993 and one in 1995.
I loved those little 5-year old faces.
Love their 20-something selves too.
To read more Friday Fragments go here.