Category Archives: Days at Home

Opposite, Spouse’s And Chocolate Cake

By now, I’m guessing that you’re all depending on me to let you know what today’s “celebration” is. (See my posts from Monday and Wednesday of this week.)

Today is National Opposite Day. I’m not sure what that means or how we are to celebrate. Perhaps we could try writing with our non-dominate hand? That should prove interesting.

BUT, tomorrow is……National Spouse’s Day. And that is definitely worth celebrating.

So, here’s to MY spouse, my hubby, my Motor Man, who makes me smile every day.

Oh, and Sunday is Chocolate Cake Day.  We just may be celebrating that one, too.

Enjoy your weekend: celebrate!

~These Days Of Mine~



(Hand)writing On The Wall

One of my Christmas gifts (to myself) was a small desk calendar featuring each day’s celebration, as in: “National Day Of…” And I think it may provide me with some blog post topics throughout the year.

(You may recall that I posted Monday about Squirrel Appreciation Day. I’m hoping you all celebrated the day in a proper fashion.)

Today is National Handwriting Day.

As I thought about today’s post, it occurred to me how unimportant handwriting is now as opposed to just a few years ago. We used to write notes, cards and letters to friends, family and acquaintances; now most of us correspond by e-mail. For many of us, gone are the days that we make grocery lists or reminders to ourselves; now we just put a note in our phone.

Some school systems have even stopped teaching cursive.  I remember being so anxious to learn cursive in….second grade, I think?

As I planned this post, I began looking for some handwritten notes from years ago and found these to share. The first is my dear sweet mother’s attempt at poetry. I don’t really know when she wrote this, but I think it was when I was a young girl. Notice my mom said that they went to school “some time”. Mom grew up in a different era, when your schooling was complete around ninth grade. She also mentions her sisters and brothers and that she had quite a few (eleven, to be exact.)

I also found this note from my Mom’s sister, Lucille. The eldest sibling was Mattie, then Lucille, then Mom.  Although they lived locally, Mattie and Lucille enjoyed keeping in touch with family members through notes and letters.

This was a note to Marshall’s dad and me from Aunt Lucille. It was written soon after Marshall had minor surgery. I’m not sure about her segue into what she may have been able to do at age 4 1/2. (* see below)  That was Marshall’s age at the time, so I’m guessing that caused her to think about her life when she was a little girl. But I find it so interesting to read.

As I shared above, Aunt Lucille was the second eldest of the twelve. I think it’s sweet, and also a little sad, to read that she remembered wishing she could sit on her Mom’s lap and be rocked. And I love that Grandma sang to all the little ones.

** I stumbled upon another note from Aunt Lucille; this one written just a few days prior to the one I shared above. This part explains why she mentioned what she could do at age 4 1/2. I believe this came about because Marshall had written his name on a note to her.

All this thinking about handwriting has given me an idea: I think I’ll challenge myself to write one letter each week.  (And Motor Man, I know what you’re thinking: “when is she going to find time to do that?”)

Could I interest anyone else in joining me in this challenge? Hmmmm…is stationery still sold in stores? Perhaps we can find some vintage writing paper on E-bay.  Remember scented stationery?  Seems that was always a popular gift amongst the older ladies at church.

Who’s in?

~These Days Of Mine~





Appreciating The “Troublemakers”

I have a public service announcement:

Today is… (drum roll)  Squirrel Appreciation Day.  Who knew?

I can’t say that I have ever actually “appreciated” squirrels.  Mostly, they annoy me by clearing out our bird feeders in record time. But, I must admit, there have been times that squirrels have been rather entertaining.

So in honor of this special day, I thought I’d share a few of the amusing photos I’ve taken over the years of “our” squirrels.

Must be a mommy-to-be squirrel, gathering material (from my flower planter) for her nest.

I have yet to find a feeder that’s any match for a hungry squirrel. And, seriously: aren’t they ALWAYS hungry?

Do you think that bird bath is large enough to satisfy your thirst?

Obtaining food is apparently good squirrel exercise.  S-t-r-e-t-c-h.

And, how can you not just laugh at this? It’s free entertainment from our kitchen window.

Aw, how sweet; all curled up for a nap.  Must have finally gotten a tummy full at the bird feeders.

So, even though I can’t say that I appreciate them, the bird squirrel feeders are full and waiting.

Are you celebrating??

~These Days Of Mine~






Christmas Surprises Finale

Although this will be the last post regarding Christmas gifts (I think), the season brought so many thoughtful surprises from family and friends, this series could have continued for quite a while.

As I mentioned earlier, my niece, Donna, and her son, Ray, spent Christmas with us this year for the first time. Last summer, the two of them had traveled to England and Scotland, and they brought back some special gifts for me.

Our genealogy has been traced back to England on my maternal side (Warren) and Scotland on my paternal side (McGuriman). Donna and I are both very interested in our family history, so she was, understandably, excited about her trip.

One of my gifts from them was a cashmere scarf in our family’s tartan from Scotland.

Also, a pin, officially known as a clan crest badge.

During her visit to England, Donna learned that two of our Warren descendants from the early 1500’s and 1600’s, are buried beneath St. Mary the Virgin church in Ripple, County Kent, England. The church isn’t open every day, and an appointment is needed for admittance. Because Donna didn’t know this in advance, they weren’t able to see the interior. But she brought this stone to me from the foundation of the original church.

Here’s more info she shared in an email to me:

Inside 2 Warrens are buried “Monuments: 1663 2 reset wooden plaques on nave south wall bear brass inscriptions and shields to Thomas Warren, d.1591 and William Warren d.1612, both ‘chief customers’ of various Cinque Ports.”
The current church (1800’s) was rebuilt on the foundations of the older church. You have a piece of the foundation. The Warrens lived in Dover until late into Elizabeth 1st reign, in the late 1500’s, early 1600’s, they moved to Ripple, which is where Ripple Court or Ripple Manor was located.

The day after Christmas, Donna, Ray and I visited Colonial Williamsburg. Thankfully, the weather was cool that day, because I was determined to wear my tartan scarf.

Thanks, again, Donna and Ray; you know how much your gifts mean to me. (Especially since I don’t know that I’ll ever be brave enough to fly across “the big pond”.)

~These Days Of Mine~


More Christmas Surprises

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I received several very special surprises from family members this Christmas. I shared Motor Man’s gifts to me in that post, and, today, I’d like you to see Marshall’s gifts to us.

A few months ago, Marshall began a new hobby: creating 3-D shadowbox designs. His work is amazing. And, for Christmas, he surprised Motor Man and me with  designs meaningful to each of us.

My longtime readers may remember this post from WAY back in 2011. It’s about a book, which I discovered in my childhood and that many years later, quite by accident, reappeared in my life.

Because it’s nearly impossible to get the full effect of a 3-D design from a photo, I made videos of Marshall’s work. The first one is of my gift, which is the book jacket from Skirts Of The Dead Night.


Marshall knows that the only movie Motor Man ever talks about is Thunder Road. (And it’s the only song he ever sings…). So, this was Marshall’s gift to him.


Needless to say, this Mom is very impressed.  I’ll be having these framed soon, but I thought the details would be easier to see if I recorded the video before framing.

Thanks, again, Marshall.  I hope you know how much we treasure these.

~These Days Of Mine~

Christmas Surprises

Motor Man has never been one to purchase gifts for me without my prior approval. He says he wants to be sure what he gives me is something I like. That being said….

Before my Christmas blogging break, I shared that my niece, Donna, and her son, Ray, were coming to spend Christmas with us. 

Christmas morning plans included breakfast here at home, and we invited Marshall to join us. So I was busy getting the table set, preparing food, etc. Motor Man announced that he was going to be in the garage for a little while, working on a “project”, he didn’t know how long he would be, and that I was NOT allowed to come in the garage until further notice.  Okay…..

A short time later, I’m scrambling eggs, cooking bacon, making peanut butter muffins (per Marshall’s request), and Motor Man returns from the garage. He tells me that Matt, one of our race engine customers, said I needed to look at my Facebook page. Um…. “I’m a little busy right this minute, could I possibly check it a little later?” Motor Man replies that Matt says I need to look at it right now.

So I check my messages, and there’s a photo of Matt’s little girl with a HUGE stuffed giraffe. I said: “Oh, cute! She got a giraffe for Christmas.” At that same time, the panic alarm on Motor Man’s truck sounded, courtesy of the key fob in his pocket.

This was the sight when I looked out the window.

As it turns out, Danny, another one of our customers had spotted this giraffe at T.J. Maxx weeks ago and told Motor Man about it. Motor Man had then asked Matt to pick it up for him me us. The picture of Matt’s little girl with the giraffe was taken a few weeks before Christmas during the time they were keeping it for us. So quite a few folks were responsible for this.

As Christmas Day progressed, contributions were made to the (as yet unnamed) giraffe’s holiday outfit. (The scarf was a Christmas gift to ME from my niece, Barb. It was just on loan to the giraffe.)

But, Motor Man wasn’t done with his surprise gifts just yet.  Some time ago, I mentioned to him that my favorite key ring had broken. It’s one that hooks over the side of my purse (with my keys inside). It’s very convenient in that I don’t have to rummage around for my keys when I need them.

He surprised me with this for Christmas.

Yes, he actually went in a gift shop specifically to look for that type key ring for me.

And I think he made excellent choices in both the giraffe AND the key ring.

There were other special surprises for me from my family this Christmas. Stay tuned next week for more details on those.

~These Days Of Mine~




In Monday’s post, I left you with this “teaser”:

And, now, I will explain. Just before 2018 arrived, I saw a suggestion on Facebook to write little notes of thankfulness/gratitude/joy all through the year, place them in a container, and then read them on New Year’s Eve.

So I did that all throughout 2018, keeping them in my Mom’s old glass “ice bucket” on our sideboard. Although I realize the importance of being grateful, having those colorful little notes in a prominent place helped me remember to actually put my thoughts into words.

Motor Man and I read all the notes (a total of 68) Monday evening as we quietly celebrated New Year’s Eve at home.

The multi-colored paper made quite a colorful scene as we selected them one-by-one from the stack to be read.

Many of them noted things I was thankful for: safe travels for us and/or Marshall (including us being just minutes ahead of a fatal tractor trailer accident on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel),  relieved to have found a credit card I’d misplaced, grateful that a cousin was doing well following surgery, and another with a similar message about a dear friend.  Some made mention of a fun trip we’d taken or just a nice time with friends or family.

Reading all those little notes brought back many happy memories of the year, and I’m definitely planning to do this again in 2019.

What are YOU thankful for today? Make a note of it!

~These Days Of Mine~