Wednesday, February 1, 2023

And Now It's February

Here's something you don't often see in my world at this time of year. That's sunshine, morning sun, coming into the backyard. Never mind that it's one degree below zero. It's sun. I'll take it!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

January's Bookstack -- and a Happy Ending

I haven't exactly been turning the page this past month! But I have enjoyed several offerings, two mysteries and an autobiography of sorts (diaries, actually).


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

And January Goes On!

Lots of bits and pieces to go on, as the month of January continues. This morning I woke to our first measurable snow since Christmas. The weather folk say 3-6 inches are expected today. We'll see. This has been our weirdest winter in ages.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Year of the Rabbit

Bloggers know that many of us pick a guiding word of the year. Last year, my word of the year was "Endure." After two years of adjusting our lives for Covid, and looking forward to uncertainty, it seemed like a good one. 

It was (unfortunately) more fitting than I knew. I had loads of health and mobility issues and Rick wasn't far behind. I continue to deal with some of those still. They affect the quality of life and perhaps are the hardest to endure. But then, don't we all have to endure something?

Friday, January 20, 2023

Gogh-ing to VanGogh Land!

I went to the Land of Van Gogh. No, not that one -- not the sun-drenched spots in Provence where so much of his beautiful and most memorable works were painted. Nor to the Netherlands, place of his youth. And no, not Paris either. I went to Detroit.

Yes, Detroit, Michigan and the Detroit Institute of Arts, home of the Van Gogh in America exhibit!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Life Around Here

Gray. If you had to put our month into one color it would be gray. 

Not that we haven't had the (rarely) occasional blue sky. But mostly gray. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Books of 2022 -- The Annual Book Report

It's time for my annual accounting of books read (often devoured) in 2022.

In the past year I read 58 books, a few short of my goal of 60. But I topped my page goal of 18,000 with a grand total of 21,994 pages, meaning, I read longer books, often more complex. (Why do I do this? Curiosity, and to keep myself accountable. I won't read just to check off a book or pages; I'll give it a fair shot, but life's too short.)

All books listed here have been reviewed in previous posts and are linked.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Things I Learned this Holiday Season

There are lessons to be learned from everything. Here are some of the things I learned this holiday season!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

The Books of December

As one might expect, December was a terrible month for reading! I only managed four books and even that was a challenge! (One was only 48 pages!)

I'll have the overall book wrap post soon, but here are my takes on the December reads.

Monday, January 2, 2023

In-Between Week

The week between Christmas and New Year's is one of my favorites. Things calm down -- and even if they don't quite calm down, it's a gentler, more relaxed feeling. A good time for naps, tidying up, quieter gatherings with friends and looking forward to a new year. 

In our case, it involved saying goodbye to Rick's mom as we met up with Rick's brother and his wife, where she would spend the next few days, our annual Christmas song celebration, a quick hug with an old friend and lots of rest!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year!

 Sending all good wishes for a very Happy New Year! 

May you stay well, happy and content in 2023.

Friday, December 30, 2022

November Books -- and Anniversary Drawing Reminder and Link

Boy, I had a tough time reading in November. (And even a harder time writing about it in December so you'll get two book posts this month!) I dumped one book about five chapters in; tried picking up another WWII bio I hadn't finished and it was too heavy for me. I'm all for the Resistance but I have to be in the right mood to read it. 

Then I quit another after the introduction deciding I didn't want to read the diaries of Anne Morrow Lindbergh during WWII, when her husband, aviator Charles, was advocating non-involvement in the war and anti-semites like Father Coughlin were on his side. It reminded me too much of the situation in Ukraine and the increasing signals from the incoming House of Representatives here that we should cut funding. 

Maybe it was the delightful distractions of November that made reading hard. Who knows? I finally settled on two that were well worth the time and one that wasn't. (And face it, the upcoming holiday preps, physical therapy and not feeling my best  didn't help much either!). 

So, the books!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Lots of Christmas!

Happy In-Between Week! I hope your holidays have been as full of fun as ours. There was baking, a road trip, a visit to Rick's ancestors' final resting places, fun with little grands, music, merriment -- and an epic fail in the dessert line! Grab your tea and a Christmas cookie and settle in!

My house was decorated, literally one step at a time as I slowly brought up things from downstairs step by step due to a challenging back problem. 

But I couldn't resist bringing up as much as possible. These are the things of memories. I want to use them all -- or as much as possible -- before the inevitable downsizing. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

We Wish You a Merry Christmas -- and Drawing Reminder

This Christmas Day we trust that Rick, his mom and I will be back home after several fun days celebrating the holiday with Kevin, Molly and the boys. The big snowstorm kept Greg, who has much farther to travel, away but we'll catch up with him later. (Note: Yes, we made it back safely -- and it was a very nasty road trip. Be careful out there!)

I'll have more on that soon (it was such fun!), but for today we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and if you are traveling, please be safe, especially if you are in regions affected by winter storms. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Celebrating 15 Years! And a GIveaway!

On December 20, 2007, I published my first post here on The Marmelade Gypsy. I'd just learned how to blog in an afternoon workshop that my then-boss held for those who were interested in blogging. Having already followed a few art blogs, I thought I might like to join in. This image was my first header, my Marmelade Gypsy.

Who could have imagined that 15 years later I would have overshared so much of my world! That deserves a little celebration and yes, a little drawing for some sort of thank you gift. More on that below.

Friday, December 16, 2022

A Little House Tour

Finally, I'm as decorated as I'm going to be! (That's not true. I will probably be bringing things upstairs till Twelfth Night when I start taking it down again!)

Join me on a little home tour! The nice parts, not the cobwebs and piles of stuff. Come on in! (Cue the Music!)

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Keeping It Real

I share these moments of angst in the spirit of keeping it real. Because I have a feeling I'm not the only person going through some sort of pre-holiday frustration and I feel your pain. I've heard it all: "Don't do so much." Duh. But maybe you've experienced some of this and even if you are way more together than me (in real life, not what-I-see-on-your-blog life) I also have a couple of fun video links you might enjoy if nothing else! 

And yes, sprinkled with a tree or two throughout -- just to show you that I am making progress!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Cork Poppers Celebrate Wines of South America

Mix a little (OK, a lot) of wine, a little food, 14 people who haven't seen each other in awhile and you end up with a delightfully chaotic and fun day. Yes, it's the recipe for a Cork Poppers gathering, this time tasting the wines of South America!

Our gathering started with a lot of conversation, even before the first sip! Then it was on to the wines, three whites and five reds. 

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Easy Ornament Craft for Kids (or Adults!)

I really wanted to have a little craft time with the grandlittles when they came. But what project would be easy enough for a four and five year-old with a minimum of mess and easy to complete before they moved on? I opted for easy matchbox ornaments and they were a hit.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Over the River and Through the Woods

Thanksgiving blew for us it was a whirlwind! A quiet Thanksgiving day and several after-days of fun! (Cue the Music!)

It was just me and Rick for Turkey Day itself (although we opted for roasted chicken, honey/ginger carrots, potatoes, cranberries and dressing!)

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Getting in the Spirit

Our Thanksgiving weekend was a terrific one and I'm eager to fill you in -- except that we're still having it! So, before I do, a little more from Gardenviews and town of Northville to put you in the holiday mood! (Cue the music)

This window made me want to buy a pink tree! (I refrained!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

I Would Like to Thank the Academy...

How many speeches do you hear at awards time that begin with "I would like to thank the Academy...," followed by a long list of people and usually ending with "and of course, my dear family..."

Well, at this season of giving thanks I thought it was time for a little list of my own. And it does NOT begin with the Academy! (But guess who it will end with!)

So this year I would like to thank....

Monday, November 21, 2022

Greens, Goofs and a Great Vet!

I had my official start to the holiday season over the weekend. My friend Jan and I took our annual visit to the Northville, Michigan greens market. This year they moved it back to the center of this charming little Hallmark Town. The market was in the street and it worked rather well -- but I still miss the town square with its Santa cottage. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

The Snow Has Arrived

My world is a pretty quiet one this week and that's a good thing. I've been laying low, doing "homely" things, reading (after shelving three books because I couldn't get into them!), and beginning to plot out the upcoming holiday season. This was a motivator!

Monday, November 14, 2022

The World Keeps Spinning

We have "fallen back" time-wise here -- and I have to admit, I have a very hard time with that. I hate it being dark so early and meanwhile Lizzie, who tells time with her stomach, starts nagging me an hour earlier for her daily bread. The day of the time change we had a huge windstorm. It was so windy that even though it was a sunny Sunday, Rick didn't ride his bike. And THAT is almost unbelievable! Later the sky looked like this.

Thursday, November 10, 2022


Remembering. It's time to remember.


Last weekend Rick and I went to see John McCutcheon, a wonderful singer/songwriter, who was appearing locally. We'd seen him once before and were eager to return. As always, he did not disappoint! (The only disappointing thing was the very large crowd -- that was good -- almost all of whom were "of an age." The only place you see more gray hair is at the symphony. What will happen to music like this if no one under 50 ever hears it?!)

Sunday, November 6, 2022

The October Book Wrap

I can't help it. I write long book reviews. But I want you to have a feel for the book. I may love something you don't or hate something you'd love. But at least when you go into it, you'll have an idea about the story and at least what one reader thinks!

This month I had the usual selection of mysteries, including several classics by Agatha Christie, but my reading list included one fascinating but disturbing show-biz biography, a solid police procedural, a simply beautiful novel that will resonate with anyone who has loved books, and an intriguing biography about one of my favorite writers!

Without further ado...

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Some Summer and Autumn Art

 Thank you, dear blog friends, for your words of encouragement and support on my last post. I think the cardioversion was successful -- at least, it was that day. Whether it sticks or not we'll see. But I'm very behind on life in general, so please forgive me if I don't reply to your last comments or am slow to visit. Doing my best to catch up!

As I was pulling together things for next week's art sale, I realized I hadn't shared a lot of art from this summer or fall. Some of these are will be included in inventory for the November sale, others are for fun and a few are pieces from the Este MacLeod color challenges, which means they are really out of my comfort zone!

Here we go!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Settling In at Home

There's something about being home after a summer spent largely at the lake that is disconcerting. It's good to be back, yet life seems to be in a slightly chaotic state. I feel like I am rediscovering things once familiar, while at the same time trying to negotiate the unpacking, the scheduling of appointments that were put off till fall, gatherings with friends and more (all while living in too much clutter and impending deadlines.)

I miss the sunsets. 

Bad news doesn't help either -- but more on that later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

My Take

I've been listening to and reading a lot of news lately, especially as we lead up to the midterm elections in the U.S. And I've also heard a lot of complaining, too -- about the costs of food, gas and more. And I'm getting tired of it. (Even though I've said a few of those things myself.) But, as many of us are filling out absentee ballots, participating in early voting or planning a trip to the polls,  today I'm going off the grid and taking a diversion from my usual day-to-day topics and offer some food for thought.

Because it's not all about us. It's about something much bigger.

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