Tuesday, November 03, 2020

The Simple Woman's Daybook: November Edition

"...let there be light, let there be beauty..."

American naturalist and author Hal Borland once said, "People seldom think of November in terms of beauty or any other specially satisfying tribute. November is simply that interval between colorful (October) and dark December." And yes, compared to September and October's riotous beauty, November certainly appears dull in her muted grey and brown wardrobe. But then we get weather like we are having this week—warm as late summer with sunrises so rich and vibrant it rivals any autumn flurry. Grey, cold days will come, of that we can be certain, but for today I'm reveling in this reprieve. And marveling at the play of light with shadow. Watching the sunset come earlier in the evening. No matter what else is going on in the world around us this week—and there's a lot—I'm letting these moments dance and play in my mind's eye.

It's been a delight to weave a few thoughts together for the November edition of The Simple Woman's Daybook. I hope they create a pleasant interlude before you get on with your day.


In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones.
Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms
like dancers. They know it is time to be still.

Outside my window...
The snow melted and we're back to autumn this week. With mild, sunny
temperatures, it is such a joy to go for my walks. The sunrises have been spectacular.

I am thinking...
about the name of this blog "It's A Beautiful Life".... because the truth is, we all know
life is not always beautiful. Sometimes there is downright ugly, horrible stuff
that assaults our minds and bodies on every front. Yet, in the midst, there is still so much in
life that remains beautiful. And that is what I try to focus on. Not only do I look for
the beauty in the world around me, but I look for what's good and beautiful in people.
One day I might update (or not) the name of my blog, because for all the ugly that happens,
"It's Still A Beautiful Life". 

I am thankful...
For these lines I recently found by Eric Liddell, a Scottish man
made famous through the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire.
"Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God's plans,
but God is not helpless among the ruins."
These words give me courage today. 

One of my favourite (happy) things...
is watching the Twitter feed of a dapper doggie named Bertie.
His human dad tells us that Bertie is a very happy Lakeland Terrier
who lives in Cheltenham (UK). He loves everybody and he tries everyday
to be a good boy but it doesn't always quite work out. 
He loves to run and lives life to the full.
He charms his followers with his exuberance.
Bertie always makes my day, and now Rick always asks,
so what's Bertie up to today?
His Twitter tag is @bertie_lakeland 

I am wearing...
black pants, long-sleeved tee-shirt, warm socks, and a dab of lipstick.
Yes, I still wear lipstick even when I wear a mask to do errands and shopping.

I am creating...
space in my day to write, read, listen to music, go for a walk, be quiet, listen, pray.

 I am watching...

I am reading...
One of my recent Value Village book finds
Words I Wish I Wrote by Robert Fulghum. He writes:

"In traditional Japanese houses, the walls are not cluttered with
bric-a-brac or paintings, because the Japanese think the art becomes
wallpaper after a while—unseen except as background. There is a
single place set aside on a single wall for a single work of art that is changed
from time to time according to the seasons. It's called a tokonoma. By placing
something of beauty in the tokonoma, the art gets noticed and
appreciated—purposely attended to. ..."

What a lovely way to keep the treasures in our home fresh and alive to our senses.

I am listening to...
my doctor's advice to get in at least 150 minutes of
exercise a week. I like to walk but injured my knee some time ago. I'm
slowly getting back to it. For now it's once around the block twice a day.
It's been lovely to watch how the season has been changing day by day.
And my knee is getting better.

I was hoping...
there would be left over Hallowe'en treats after the kids came on the weekend.
I was especially hoping to find extra Cheetos Crunchy Cheesies. Alas,
they were popular amongst the kiddies, so there weren't any left. No matter,
I admit I had sampled them earlier in the week (wink). They were my little
treat as I watched Poirot movies in the afternoon.

I have been learning...
to barber my husband's hair in these Covid days. He didn't want to go
to the barber, so I invested in a hair clipper and shears, and watched 
dozens of YouTube videos on cutting men's hair. He hasn't fired
me yet. But I have begun to wonder why he wears his hat so often.

In the kitchen...
Rick made a gorgeous Greek Salad for supper last evening,
using the Joy of Cooking recipes for the salad and dressing.

Greek Salad
1. Rub a salad bowl with garlic.
2. Add lettuce or spinach leaves,
chopped, pitted ripe olives,
sliced radishes,
sliced hard-cooked eggs,
shredded Swiss cheese,
bits of sautéed bacon.
3. Add sliced cucumbers,
cubes of feta cheese, and
a sprinkling of oregano
4. Toss salad with....

French Dressing
In a jar, add:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Put lid on, shake until ingredients are blended.
Then, gradually add
3/4 cup olive oil
shaking between additions.
Shake well before using.


In the garden...
The peony leaves turned purple after the frost. I have never noticed
that happening before—perhaps I never paid proper attention. I'm loving
this unexpected glimpse of nature's fading beauty.

A favourite link...
To visit is Lorrie's beautiful blog Fabric Paper Thread. It took a long
time for the two of us to discover when we met online, that years earlier our paths
had crossed in real life. She recognized the college dorm when I posted a photo once.
It turned out we both attended the same college at the same time—we were
in different years—our rooms were located on the same floor in Whittaker Hall.
We both dug out our yearbooks and racked our brains to see if we remembered each other.
How's that for that old saying "what a small world!"
I'm so glad our paths crossed again.

A moment from my day... (photo of dailyness)
Photos from my walk at sunset around 4:45 yesterday afternoon.
I hardly minded such an early dusk when I could watch the sun playing
in the treetops and reflecting in the empty lake. 
It caught my breath!


Closing notes...
"...the full November twilight had fallen around Green Gables,
and the only light in the kitchen came from the dancing
red flames in the stove. Anne was...gazing into that joyous
flow where the sunshine of a hundred summers was being 
distilled from the maple cordwood."

* * *

Yes, Virginia, it's still a beautiful life...
From the deep region of my heart, I am wishing you a safe and cozy November.

Heart Hugs,

Photo credits for:
(Top) Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay
(Olive jar) Image by ArtTower from Pixabay


  1. I love the Eric Liddell quote. "Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God's plans,
    but God is not helpless among the ruins."
    I will write that out and ponder it. I, too, find it heartening today. I also love the story of connection between you and Lorrie! Indeed, it is a small world!

    Happy November! (I'm the unusual person who considers November one of her favorite months. ~smile~)

    1. I would love to know what it is about November that makes it a favourite for you, Cheryl. I never used to like November when I was younger -- it felt so dull and gloomy. But since I learned to love the colour grey and the openness of bare trees, I have a different feeling about November now. And, of course, it is the harbinger month of our most favourite time of year, December and Christmas, cozy lights, and short days. I love the short days and cozy nights.

    2. There are several reasons that I love November!

      ~ I am an autumn person through and through! Here in the Mid-Atlantic, there are still leaves on some trees so November is not grey at the beginning of the month.

      ~ I also love the cozy factor of November. Even if it is cold, cold hasn't become tiresome yet. (And there are many days that are cool, not cold, and that suits me to a T.)

      ~ My sweet Kati was born in November.

      ~ My favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is in November. I truly think about Thanksgiving all year long! (Although, given a choice, I would prefer for our American Thanksgiving to be in October like your Canadian holiday. Then the holidays would be spread out a little more and there would be more time to prepare for Christmas in an unhurried way.)

    3. This is so lovely, Cheryl. Thank you for sharing! xo

  2. Ahhh.... yes, Life is Beautiful! I have always enjoyed your blog title. When I click onto it, I sit back and enjoy a few moments of reading. It takes me to your beautiful spots.
    Your blog reminds me of the magazine, Victoria. Rich! Elegant! Maybe it can't always be what we have but to read and relax, unwind a bit, then life is a bit more beautiful.

  3. Life is still beautiful , despite what is happening all around us. I am also enjoying the sunsets of fall and I have to admit, I enjoy the long relaxing evenings .

  4. Oh my, I was so surprised to see my blog featured on your lovely post. The connection is quite something, isn't it? Some day, I hope we meet in person for tea together.
    I'm always happy to come to your blog for I know my soul will come away refreshed and inspired.

  5. Such a balm to my troubled spirit this morning! Your writing is very calming and returns my thoughts to the basics around us. Enjoyed reading the recipe. I always like to rub the salad bowl with garlic before adding the greens, too! I actually enjoy being outdoors in November, though there are some years when things around are quite bare. Not the case this year. I’ve been in that “barber” role a few times now and have even given my own hair the scissor treatment. Taking a deep breath and dwelling in your peaceful words!

  6. I like Novembers because it is the beginning of the holidays, and I also like the blank slate of it. The trees are mostly barren now, and we don't have snow. Thanksgiving is coming, and then Christmas, but for now everything is just at rest.

  7. I couldn't agree more, it's STILL a beautiful life:) So many lovely thoughts about November in this post, and in the comments. Hal Borland is such a good author. I've enjoyed several of his books.

  8. Love the college connection between you and Lorrie. Blogland is such a small world!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo