This Time of Year

Starting last winter the gardener and I had a business project begin that has taken up a lot of our time. It’s been difficult to write in the midst of it, although I tried to do some writing. I also had my mother here for about 10 weeks in the spring. Throw in a couple of trips on top of the extra work. Then recently Mom was here again for two weeks, and I began The Artist’s Way program (FYI: bad timing to begin at this time of year). Felix had serious health problems beginning in August, as well.

Then week before last my grandcat Meesker had a urinary blockage, just like Felix. He, however, needed further surgery because of stones in the bladder. Although he’s doing fine it upset our holidays plans, as well as some other big plans in our family.

We had to change everything. And my daughter’s boyfriend had to change the date for a marriage proposal. This past week was pure chaos as we made a business trip to California, had car trouble the third time in a row, made it back in time for the proposal and little party afterwards, and then had our Hanukkah/Christmas family celebration.

I am ready to COLLAPSE. Seriously. Collapse.

The gardener and I developed colds, but I’m so glad that everyone seems pretty well right now other than that–including all the cats, the grandcats, and the granddogs. We had that darling puppy Riley here all day on Saturday. She was soΒ  good, only pooing in the house once. The cats were interested in her, but she tended to nap when they stared at her.

Going back to the proposal. YAY!!!! We are all excited because we love her boyfriend. They were friends for twelve years before dating, so we’ve known him for thirteen years. He proposed at the elegant Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, which was decked out for Christmas. In fact, they have a Winter Wonderland, complete with pageant, every year.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort lobby

He proposed at the fountain in front of this giant Christmas tree that changed colors. The song playing was “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It was on a music loop, so it was just chance that it wasn’t an uptempo Christmas song, but a more romantic-sounding song.

The staff was in on the proposal, so they were relaying information by text messages to each other and to a group of us waiting in hiding:

“They are leaving the restaurant.

They are stopping at the bathroom.

They are rounding the corner.”

All went well. My daughter is over the moon with happiness and loved the old-fashioned-style proposal.

Saturday my son made gluten-free latkes for us. He used an entire bag of giant russets, so we still have leftovers. (Yay because they are my favorite). I prefer them with sour cream, not apple sauce. How about you?


My mother pulled a fast one on me, by the way. When she was here, she had me drop her at the mall. Apparently while she was there, she purchased me an entire set of Fiestaware dishes! Then she had my daughter pick them up and hold them until Saturday when the kids all carried them out to me.

I’ve wanted Fiestaware for ten years, but couldn’t justify it because I have perfectly good dishes that I hate. I was so touched because it’s one of the nicest things my mother has done for me. She might be 85, but she still loves me :).

Hah, I don’t like to think that I am that materialistic that purchasing an item shows love, but the whole notion of my mother getting the idea of buying them for me and carrying out the plan because she knew I love the dishes really made me happy.

She chose four colors, plus serving pieces in other colors. Here are three of the colors. Aren’t these pretty plates?!!!

Now that we celebrated with our family, the rest of the month should be less hectic–and for that I am grateful.

Hugs as you travel through sluggish traffic and on cantankerous air travel, if you are doing so. And I can’t imagine too many don’t have to go out on the busy streets.


Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Arizona, Food & Drink, Nonfiction, Writing

99 responses to “This Time of Year

  1. Great post – now I’m exhausted! You deserve to indulge yourself in something restful.

  2. Congratulations! And now may you rest. xo

  3. dostonkhan

    I’m exhausted ! Congratulations !

  4. Chaotic: yes
    Full of love: yes
    Mazel tov: yes
    Sour cream AND applesauce: yes
    Fiestaware: yes
    Get some rest: yes!

  5. Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement! I love the photos! This post made me smile. In life, the important things at hand must rise to the top of our agenda; somehow, it all falls into place in a marvelous way! The dishes are lovely! A gift from the heart is a very good gift indeed.

  6. Wow–you have been so busy! Congratulations again on your daughter’s engagement. When my son-in-law proposed to my younger daughter, we were in on it, too–and it was Christmas Eve. Older daughter proposed to her wife at Disney World, but we knew it was coming. There is something extra special about seeing people you love celebrating their love. And speaking of love–that was a wonderful surprise from your mom!

  7. What an exciting year! (I went with exciting instead of exhausting!). Latkes, yes. I’ve only made them once or twice but they are so good! I never met a potato I didn’t like! Yay for everyone healthy.

    • LOL, haha, you are right about exciting! You and I are the same about potatoes. My dad said it’s a German thing. Of course, Irish people say it’s an Irish thing.

  8. This is so beautiful. Congratulations to your future son in law and daughter. Such a beautiful place to propose!

  9. Phew, you have had a hectic year Luanne – it’s no wonder you both developed colds – nature’s way of telling you to slow down!!! I’m glad you’re ending the year on good news with the proposal and a colourful gift, hope it signals a more manageable year to come πŸ™‚

  10. I hope you get a chance to relax

  11. Oh dear Luanne, I just fell down the rabbit hole of Fiesta colours…… How do you choose? They are so beautiful and the thought of a rainbow of mix and match tableware and accessories is so very tantalizing. Now I want Fiestaware too πŸ™‚ Anyhoo – glad to hear all the good news of romantic marriage proposals and mothers coming through with just-right gifts and perfect sons cooking excesses of latkes – mmmm latkes!! Oh-oh, now I want latkes too ….. Happy Holidays Luanne, I hope you emerge with renewed energy and life becomes a tad more orderly for you – good health for you and the gardener and all the various kitties – and puppy too. I may or may not resume blogging next year – we’ll see.

    • I knew you would understand about the colors of the dishes!!!!! They are such lovely dishes. They clean off more easily than any dishes I’ve ever washed. I’ve dropped them and they are fine. They go in microwave, dishwasher, and oven, so whatever appliances you have they work haha! And you can mix and match with vintage colors, too. I love the classic pattern from the 1930s–very Art Deco, but in a subtle way that creates this really clean background for food.
      Oh, you just dropped that nasty last comment here. NOOOOOOOOOOOO, please stay!!! I love getting your updates, even if they aren’t very often. DON’T GOOOOOOOOO. Love and hugs to you, Pauline.

  12. Oh, my, now I’m totally exhausted. I don’t think I could have managed half of what you did! it is truly an act of love that your mom pulled a fast one on you. Hope you are getting much needed rest and that the coming year sees all of you (furred babies included) in good health.

    • No rest yet, but I am looking forward to it this weekend. I have my daughter’s cat for a week (not the puppy hahahahahaha), and she is a pleasure to watch and gets along with my cats. So that isn’t a lot of work. I am in hopes that work calms down for Christmas and then I can rest :).

  13. Congratulations to your daughter! Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos, Luanne.

  14. I loved this post. It was like getting a holiday letter from a dear friend. Yeah, I like my latkes with sour cream. I have to admit I haven’t made them in years. I should get off my duff and do that. I’m glad you had a great family gathering, Luanne. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  15. I adore Fiestaware and have quite a collection (vintage and new). It’s the best and inspires me daily.

    • I love hearing that. I am noticing that artists seem to really like Fiestaware! The colors are so inspiring–and for me that classic art deco style is so clean and elegant/casual.

  16. Great post to get us all caught up. Now I hope you can relax a bit and enjoy the holidays.

  17. WOW! You sound like I feel. I haven’t had a chance or the energy to write a post all month and like Pauline, am giving more thought to letting it go. Congrats on the official engagement. Adding family is a wonderful thing. Latkes are applesauce only. I have an aversion to sour cream. We are having Matzo Ball soup for Christmas Eve dinner. πŸ˜‰ I packed a complete set of Fiesta ware for my daughters friend. I’m pretty much a professional packer but I swear those are some of the heaviest dishes ever. If you hit someone with one of those plates, they’d be out for hours. So pretty though. I’ve decided my favorite day of the year is January 2. Love all the festivities and decorations but it’s all very exhausting. I eat extra pickled garlic if I have to be in public places like the grocery store or post office. Keeps my immune system up. Hope you catch a rest now. Happy holidays.

    • So, Marlene, does the pickled garlic keep you healthy because it boosts the immune system or because it keeps people with their germs away from you?! hehehe I hear you on January 2. While I love the pretty and special parts, especially family getting together, I find the holidays to be stressful to my introverted system and also a bit demanding with all the have-tos.
      I love the matzo ball soup for Christmas Eve! gosh, that is such a great idea.
      My mother’s family always made oyster stew for Christmas Eve. I hated that stuff. One year I wrote a blog post trying to figure out the origins, but really never did figure it out.
      I sure hope you don’t opt out of blogging altogether. You don’t have to stop completely to get more of a rest. Maybe every two months–as a let-everyone-know-what’s-going-on sort of thing?
      Enjoy your holiday time and then your rest afterward!!!

  18. Sounds like you are absolutely done…but in a good way.These are the kinds of memories that you can pull over yourself like a warm blanket whenever you have the ‘blues’. Happy holidays to you too!

    • Oh, I love that metaphor. Beautiful! Thank you so much. by the way, shall I call you whiteshadow or Hughes or something else? I hope you have the holidays you’ve always wanted.

      • Thanks Luanne. You can call me Paul. I am still constructing the blog and as I have no idea what I am doing, it lacks a certain clarity I think! Basically I am an old coot having trouble with technology! I’m looking for a ten year old to help me fabricate the thing!

  19. Oh, yes, they are lovely. Why I could eat tuna off them for days!

  20. Here’s to 2020 bringing health and even more happiness!

  21. I love this happy story. Now it’s time to rest up!

  22. I love your new dishes, and I totally get why you were appreciative of your mother’s thoughtfulness. Nothing materialistic about that! A mother’s love is always important to her daughter at any age.
    Congratulations on your daughter’s marriage proposal! That was such a beautiful spot for such a momentous happening.
    Rest up, my friend. Mother of the Bride must surely be a whole new world because Mother of the Groom was definitely a game changer for Pretty!

    • Hah, I am not hugely excited about the wedding planning. Daughter already laughingly said she might be a bridezilla. Um, not when she’s dealing with me, please. Luckily, she loves planning events and designing events, so that is good. I prefer to do some other things with my time in 2020, although I do want to help. I feel like my main job is to speak up when i see any mistakes being made that will cause trouble between people or make people feel bad, that sort of thing. I am pretty good at watching for that stuff and can be more objective about it than the bride and groom. I think their main problem is going to be figuring out how to stick to a budget HAHAHAHAHA.
      Thanks, Sheila. Yeah, these dishes are so cheerful. It makes me smile to look at them every day.
      how is that darling little baby doing?!!!

      • She is good! Tomorrow (Friday) we are filling in for the Friday person – so we’ve had her for parts of Sunday, all day Monday, Tuesday and tomorrow. I see now why babies belong with young people!! We absolutely swoon over her

        • Oh, so sweet! Haha, I couldn’t babysit the PUPPY for my daughter for a week. She went to the pet sitter. I’m getting too old for babies so a week straight–no.

  23. WOW! I need a nap now, after reading all that!! πŸ˜€ So happy for you re your daughter’s engagement! Lovely! Take time for yourself, dear girl. Happy Holidays – those latkes look FAB btw! πŸ˜€ <3

    • Thank you so much, Ellie. The latkes were great. That’s why we let him make them every year. Mine are good, but the thinner version. His are whole meals in themselves! Happy holidays to you, my friend.

  24. What a year! No wonder you are on the verge of a collapse and have a cold! Congratulations on the engagement of your daughter, on having a son who is a culinary artiste and a loving and generous mother who knows you so well and loves you so much. I hope you and the Gardener have a happy post-Hannukkah/Christmas time and get the rest and relaxation you both deserve.

  25. What a happy occasion for you! Romantic engagements and “Festive” surprises. Oh, and latkes, yum! Happy happy holidays to you.

  26. I collect Fiesta too, so I’m super excited! And impressed with your mom’s ninja skills!
    Congratulations again!
    I sure hope you have a beautiful and PEACEFUL holiday, Luanne. You’ve earned it!

  27. What a lovely catch up post! Thanks for letting us in on a little slice of your life/pizza! Have a wonderful holiday and a prosperous New Year!

  28. Congratulations to your daughter and her future husband on their marriage proposal. So romantic! <3 The latkes look yummy. I also prefer mine with sour cream. And, what a beautiful gift your mother gave you. I hope that you have already gotten over your cold and are resting up for the start of a brand new year. Best wishes, Luanne, to you and your family. <3

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