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.
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
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.