Giving Thanks – November Recap

Fair warning, this is going to be a long and photo-intensive post. I had planned to break it into two separate posts, but time got away from me and I didn’t pull it together in time. Personally, I think that is a good thing since getting caught up in living is generally healthier than having too much down-time to fill. It has been a good month and we have much to be thankful for.

November began with a weekend visit with my daughter in Miami. We did the usual girly things – shopping, a trip to the spa, and dinner at a great restaurant.

Every part of visiting with Morgan is a treat but making new ‘foodie’ discoveries is high on my list of favorite things. She made an early reservation (to avoid the ‘night crowd’) at Cote, a Korean steak house located in the Design District.

It was an honest-to-goodness ‘died and gone to foodie heaven’ meal for me and I can’t tell you how much I loved both the energy and food at this place. Or, maybe it was just good company…

I am Thankful for Mommy-Daughter Time

Continuing with the ‘foodie’ theme which seems to have dominated this month, Malcolm and I, along with two friends attended a Cooking Class at a local farm-to-table venue; Kai-Kai Farm. In addition to a full schedule of events, this is an actual working farm that supplies a variety of greens to local restaurants. We enjoyed an excellent meal served in an elegantly decorated open-air pavilion. We even got to take home copies of the Chef’s recipes and I will try to reproduce them as accurately as possible.

I am Thankful for good Friends and Shared Experiences

Malcolm and I finished the landscape redesign project that we started at my MIL’s house in October. Digging twenty-two holes through rock and roots wasn’t fun, but the results are satisfying. Our goal was to use low-maintenance plants that add a pop of color to the front of the house and still leave room for his mom to plant annuals in spring and fall should she want to. Mission accomplished!

I am Thankful for a Strong, Healthy Body

King tides occur when the orbits and alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun combine to produce the greatest tidal effects of the year. According to NOAA, this phenomenon happens about twice per year in the coastal US. Although it can be devastating for our coastline it is still a sight to behold. Conditions were perfect for King Tide in our area for several days at the beginning of November, so of course, Malcolm and I headed to the beach to watch the show.

Slide to compare Stylized version and Unedited version

I am Thankful for the Beauty and Power of Nature

Several weeks ago I planted a few herbs in a couple of pots, hoping to interest my MIL in taking on a small project. She has diligently watered and tended the herbs and they have flourished. We have taken frequent cuttings from the basil, rosemary, and parsley and they continue to be bountiful.

The orchid on the right has been blooming for weeks. We have several of them in pots on the patio. This one sits just outside the window where I have my morning coffee.

I Am Thankful for Gifts from the Earth

During the second week of November, the temperature dropped in South Florida, giving us our first real taste of Fall. It was just enough to inspire us to turn our thoughts to Christmas and decorating. We will be away for Thanksgiving, so why not get an early start.

On Sunday, a week before Thanksgiving, we pulled out some decorations and sorted the pieces of Nana’s Christmas Village. The village has been a part of her Christmas display for the past sixteen years. We have downsized it a bit this year, but it still looks beautiful.

I am Thankful for Cherished Traditions

In week three of November, we resurrected an old tradition and prepared a Thanksgiving feast just for the three of us. Since my MIL has decided to not travel with us to New England for the holiday, we pivoted and made a small celebration for her the week before we flew to Boston. Roast turkey, a few traditional side dishes, and a store-bought pumpkin pie made up the simple menu. It has been a very long while since we roasted a turkey, (see our break from tradition here) but sticking with the basics was key. Salt, pepper, slather the thing with butter, and roast in the oven at 325 for a few hours, done! It was a good-looking bird, but sadly, there are no pictures to prove it.

The perfect mix of homemade and semi-homemade dishes made preparations easy and the day felt leisurely, as it should. I used a recipe shared by Karen at Back Road Journal to make the delicious Corn Casserole pictured below. Karen is an amazing cook and I regularly use her recipes. This one is simple to make and a real crowd-pleaser. Do check out her blog when you get the time. This recipe is my contribution to What’s On Your Plate for November.

I am Thankful for Flexibility

The last week in November we flew to Boston, met up with the kids (who flew in from Miami), and drove out to Martha’s Vineyard for a much anticipated Thanksgiving holiday. You may recall that this destination is the third, yes third choice as we were originally scheduled to fly to London and drive to the Cotswolds for the holiday.

Several months ago, we got skittish about COVID requirements for traveling abroad and not wanting to get stuck, delayed, or otherwise inconvenienced, we decided to make a different arrangement. We then booked a house on Nantucket, and a little over a month ago, the owners canceled our reservation. The third time is a charm, as they say, and we ended up in a beautiful home on Martha’s Vineyard, minus Malcolm’s mom who decided to hang back in sunny Florida. We missed having her with us, but understand her reluctance to brave the chill…

We spent our time here cooking, playing board games, exploring the island, and just hanging out together in a beautiful space. Some days were sunny and mild and others gray and cold, but we loved them all. Many businesses closed earlier than usual this year due to worker shortages, but we had all we needed.

This photo of Morgan is my contribution to Terri’s Sunday Stills, but I think the entire post qualifies as ‘cozy.’ It has been that kind of month.

I am Thankful for Being in the Moment

Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook

For those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, we hope you took some time to reflect on all that is good in your life and that your homes were filled with joyful moments and family celebrations. Thanksgiving really is just a state of mind, and my state of mind is thankful every single day. Blessings to you and yours.

We will be back in Florida on Monday, rested and ready for the most wonderful time of the year to begin.

38 thoughts on “Giving Thanks – November Recap

  1. Nothing beats stopping and being grateful Suzanne – and you had lots to be grateful for. I love that you got some chunks of time to spend with family, that you’re out and about and travelling (a little bit). Lovely photos and great to see little snippets of your life over the last month or so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leanne, being on an airplane (and in an airport) for the first time in two years was interesting. Thank goodness it was a short flight. The month was mostly balanced. I didn’t get as much exercise as I would like, but again, life gets in the way. I’ll get over to your blog today to check out what you’ve been up to. Take care.

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  2. Suzanne, you had some yummy looking food this month! So glad you got to travel and to spend time with your family. You certainly have a lot to be thankful for!
    Those spring tides affected us here, too. We haven’t seen such a high tide in several years.

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  3. November seems to have been a wonderful month for family activities and a very thankful Thanksgiving celebration with your family. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the corn casserole and want to thank you for the shout out, it is much appreciated.

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  4. Your photos are always worth looking at! Looks like you’ve had a really nice Fall/Thanksgiving. Are those Tropical Cordyline you’ve planted in the front yard? The color looks great. I’ve had great luck with mine, they even survived the Texas Freeze this past February. The corn casserole looks great….giving me ideas for Christmas. Thanks for the inspiring post!

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    1. Hi Tracey, yes, we call them ‘red sister.’ I loved the color and my MIL already has a couple of them around the side of her house that have survived for many years. Seemed like a good choice for out front. Karen’s corn casserole is delicious and goes well with ham or turkey. Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is good in your life.

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  5. Hi, Suzanne – Getting “caught up in living” is a wonderful thing – as your post brilliantly shows. Thank you for linking up with #whatsonyourplateblog challenge. The wide arrange of dishes that you have shared here has me drooling on my keyboard. #What’sinyourglass? I’m still enjoying my new latte frother and have written a bit about it on my upcoming WOYP post. But what’s also in my glass is water — which I am trying (a bit unsuccessfully) to drink more of!

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    1. Hi Donna, glad to hear you are focused on drinking more water. That’s the absolute best thing to have in your glass at any time of the day. ‘Living’ and overindulging are synonymous for me this month and I expect that condition to continue through December – there will be consequences! Malcolm and I discussed ‘moderation’ on the flight back from Boston yesterday. It was a short conversation…

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  6. That’s a lot of food! We once drove up to the Cotswolds from London and almost killed ourselves! Kept going round in circles and almost being driven off the road. I recommend hiring a driver who knows the area.

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    1. Hi Jan, we had a driver hired to get us to the Cotswolds from London, but once there, we were going to rent a car. I was not looking forward to the stress of driving on the opposite side of the road. We will eventually make that trip, just not this year. Too much food, but lovely just the same. I will take care of the extra pounds come January…until then, there is more to come! Hope your November was pleasant and that you are doing well.

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  7. Thank you for including “cozy” in your November wrap-up, Suzanne! You captured the idea of cozy brilliantly, as November seems to be that month in the Northern hemisphere where cozy is the operative word. Your time with your family was no doubt precious and I’m sure you will all have fond memories of your time together. I love the little Christmas village images! Enjoy your travels back home!

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    1. Hi Terri, I have been waiting all month for just the right moment to snap just the right photo for your ‘cozy’ challenge. When Morgan curled up in a blanket the day after Thanksgiving and put a Hallmark movie on TV I knew I had the one I wanted to share. Life is good. Thanks for hosting and for sharing your beautiful photographs. Each one expresses your joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a beautiful November you’ve had, Suzanne. I agree with your statement “my state of mind is thankful every single day”. Thank you for sharing your recap with us. Have a wonderful December!

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    1. Hi Natalie, I know you feel the same way. It shows in your writing and the way you live life. Hopefully, there will be more of the same for December. It is already shaping up that way. My timing is always off for linking up with your coffee share. Maybe next time!

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  9. Good morning, Suzanne,
    You’ve packed a tremendous amount of fun and food into November and I’m so glad you shared it with the rest of us. Since I hate to fly, I would take Martha’s Vineyard over England every time. Two things piqued my interest–a pumpkin martini and your cooking class which is something I have always wanted to do. Thanks much for the update and have a great week! Joe

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    1. Hi Joe, the flight to (and from) Boston was bad enough, so I can only imagine what it might have been like to fly to London. Thank goodness we have our Global Entry passes and were able to skip the long TSA lines. That little card is worth its weight in gold! Now, if they can just figure out how to encode it with our vaccine info we’d be all set for international travel.

      The pumpkin martini is delicious and festive. The cooking class was a lot of fun and we will do that again. The farm was a new discovery for us, even though it has been in our area for a while. You just never know what Instagram will ‘suggest’ (positive side of social media platforms) for you.

      I hope you guys had a lovely Thanksgiving and are staying warm and cozy in your neck of the woods. Have a wonderful December.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Judy, it was a good month, somewhat balanced, but a bit indulgent. I’m not sure December can top this past month, but we are on track to give it a go! We are attending a Christmas party tonight which could be a disaster since we are not recovered from yesterday’s flight home. Reminding myself to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. That’s a much better way to go than face down on my plate! Have a wonderful December.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s hard to believe that November is almost over. I guess I’ll be taking down my fall decorations and putting up Christmas ones tomorrow. It looks like you had a great month! We have a lot of Asian restaurants in a 1/2 mile long, restaurant row-type district not too far from us. I’ve always wanted to explore them with someone who knows what to order. Do you and/or daughter know or did you just wing it? I love trying new things but I also like familiar tastes… and that pumpkin martini and cranberry chees log look right up my alley!

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    1. Hi Janis, Cote is one of my daughter’s favorite places, so I deferred to her choices. She ordered a few side dishes that I might not have tried otherwise, so I was glad to sit back and enjoy.

      We strung the Christmas lights outside this morning and will put up the tree tonight or tomorrow. My MIL is sorting cookie recipes as I type this, so I’m thinking it will likely be tonight, while the house smells of fresh-baked cookies. Take care and thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your visit.

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  11. Pingback: Sunday Stills: Christmas #Song Lyric Photo Challenge – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

  12. What a beautiful and inspiring post Suzanne. How wonderful to have some Mother/Daughter time. I am envious but have made the commitment to have more quality time with my daughter in 2022. She has a busy career and two sons so it is difficult to carve out time one-on-one. The Cranberry Log looks delicious and isn’t this such a wonderful time of year? As usual your photos tell a wonderful story and I wish you happiness and joy during December and the Festive Season. #sentenceaday

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  13. Hi Suzanne. I’m a little late in catching up with you, but I really enjoyed reading this post about all that you are thankful for. I’ve been counting my blessings a lot lately. It eases the challenges that we sometimes face, in this apartment renovation. It’s been great catching up and I look forward to your next post.

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  14. Mother Daughter time & spending time with family is always enjoyable when there is lots of delicious food involved. I agree through your pictures that the King Tide is a sight to behold. Your lighted Christmas village is beautiful & festive. Happy Holidays! Karen

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