The Busy Season

It sure has been around here. But happy busy with shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking. We do the works!

Pies, Turkey, All The Fixings and Family. I broke my own tradition this year, and decorated before T-Day. It seemed to me we can use all the cheer we can manage. So up goes the tree, out come the candles and strings of lights. Put out the Santa collection, the Snow People. And it’s time to admit I also collect Christmas trees.

Thanksgiving pies

And yeah, there’s a lot of cheer.

Thanksgiving gobbled right by. And that’s my signal to get up to my One More Room and start dealing with my personal department store of presents accompanied by gooey (it’s the season!) Christmas movies.

A quick and careful shopping trip with Laura to visit our friends at Saks (with Sarah for a day). Room service and evening hotel writing. Quiet, productive, and a lovely little break.

Weekends loaded with wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, gift tags until Hey! I can once again see the floor.

Nose to that grindstone during the week because I really, really want to finish this book and take a long deep breath before Christmas. And it pays off! Manuscript done and outta here two days before I have a little gathering for a handful of my (vaxxed and boosted) girl pals.

Mary Kay, JoAnne, Nora, Elaine

So nice to see everyone face-to-face, to just spend a day catching up. And since I have a day not chained to the keyboard, I can haul down the two Hefty bags of clothes purged from my closet, set them up on BW’s clothes rack.

And gone. More room in the One More Room. And that’s a nice side benefit.

The long deep breath includes a weekend with Jason and family as Kat leads this year’s Foundation Christmas party for a few local families. Deliveries again this year instead of in person, but Covid doesn’t dampen the cheer.

And I get Griffin time! The time includes a new favorite story.

He’s not happy when his mom leaves and it’s just me. Not a tantrum, but sadness that takes him to the door he’s thankfully unable to open to follow her. He sits on the floor in front of the door. I sit on the floor and sympathize. Then lie down, play peek-a-boo. He tries hard not to smile.

Then I see him look out of the corner of his eye at my little Limoges cabinet. He’s always fascinated by all those little pretty things. And is always denied access. Clinging to his boon companion, a little stuffed dog called Howl, he starts a butt scoot to the cabinet and the shiny little things.

Nana says: Uh-uh, Griffin, that’s a no.

So he shifts Howl in his hand so Howl puts his paws on the knob of the glass cabinet. Hey, I’m not doing it! Howl is!

Howl is also denied access, but Nana gets a good laugh, and gives the boy full credit for creativity.

Then I get out the bowling pins and we play, wild and happy, for a solid half hour before we head into Chase Me All Over The House–another favorite game.

The Santa gang brings back pizza.

Monday, dentist for me–and coincidentally Jason. Permanent crown now installed. Extraction (oh joy!) in February. Home to play another favorite game with Griffin, Bury Me In Pillows, before he and Kat head home.

Halfway through sophomore year!

And yesterday Baking Day with Kayla. Our girl is home from college (Dean’s List once again!) with a rotten cold. Tested for Covid, Flu, Strep, all negative. Just a vicious cold. But she’s on the mend, so baking it is.

Sugar cookie dough first and in the fridge. Chocolate chip, Peppermint Kisses, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Blossoms. The house smells like a bakery (yum) as I play baker’s assistant. She does the work. I’m no longer guiding her little hands to help her crack an egg or measure flour. Those early lessons bore fruit, and she’s a wonderful baker.

At work

While she bakes, I make her some veggie bean and pasta soup.

We’ve got soup simmering, cookies in the oven, and Christmas movies on the kitchen TV. It’s pretty damn perfect.


And she and BW sit down to paint the sugar cookies as I roll out the dough, cut out the shapes. After a long, productive day, she goes home with soup and cookies. And I have more sweet memories in the bank.

The goods

I’ll start a new book today, satisfied that I’m ready for the Christmas that is just around the corner. And look forward to having the family gathered together to tear into that wrapping paper and those gift bags.

As we close out the year, and look to longer days with the Solstice behind us, I wish you all peace, health, joy. And hope you find all of those with friends and family.

Stay safe.


59 thoughts on “The Busy Season”

  1. What a wonderful setting for Christmas. It all seems so cozy. I hope you have a wonderful time with your family. Hugs.

    1. Merry Christmas, Nora, to you and your family. May we all have a great 2022.

  2. Blessings to you and your wonderful family this holiday season! Thank you for all you do to keep us in a place we can escape for a few hours.

  3. Thank you for sharing your family and your cheer with us, Nora. And yay, a new book! 😊Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    And to you and your family, Laura!


  4. Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Happy New Year! Grateful for your talents and all the wonderful books. Sending cyber hugs and friendship from Texas where we’re supposed to hit 86 degrees on Saturday. Much better than 36, 46, or lower.

  5. Merry Christmas Nora. Hope you have a fun and much happiness with your family.

  6. Nora, it is always wonderful to read about your holiday preparations. Griffin is so adorable, and seeing Kayla become your pastry chef is amazing. You have, indeed, taught her well. Wishing you and yours the merriest of holiday seasons, and also to you and yours, Laura! Here’s to another year of wonderful books! ❤️🎅🏻🎄🤶🏻

    1. Nora
      Your Christmas routine sounds great and I know you can never get enough Grandma time! Have the best of time with family and friends and thanks for the books that have been my friends for over 40 years. Merry Christmas🎅🏻
      Laura I just had hip replacement surgery on Dec 15 and It has not been as bad as i imagined. Hope yours goes great as well. Dont get me wrong there is pain and frustration but manageable -good luck!!🎄🎄

      1. Congrats to you on your surgery. I had mine the day after yours on the 16th. I was chicken and waited too long but thankfully now it’s done. Hats off to you (and Laura) for getting it done while you’re young! PT here we come! Happy celebrations of the Season!

  7. I wish you and your family a very special Christmas Season!!! Looks like some wonderful memories with family and friends! Thank you for all the enjoyable stories!!

  8. Wishing you and your lovely family, a Wonderful Christmas, and a happy Healthy New Year.
    Take care and stay safe…xx

  9. Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year to you and your family. Looking forward to your new books coming in 2022! 🎄🎄🎄

  10. Merry Christmas to you and your family Nora! Stay safe,happy and healthy. Thank you for another year of damn fine escapism and fabulous writing. Long may it continue. Blessings. Xx

  11. It all sounds wonderful! I had hoped to bake with my 14yr old grand last night, but as she gets up for LaGuardia HS @ 5:00am and doesn’t get home until 5:30pm (has 2 dance classes each day, so school ends @ 4:00pm and she has a 90min commute each way), by the time we had dinner, she did her Mandarin Chinese homework and studied for test today, she was ready for bed by 8:00pm! I’m going over early Christmas Eve, so we’ll have time to make Snickerdoodles then. They’re her new favorite! Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and an even Happier New Year!

  12. Thank you for a year with wonderful books and possibilities to chill for a few hours !! Thank you and Laura:-)for sharing your wonderful and private stories! For your whole families, stay healthy!!! And have a wonderful christmas time!
    Greetings from bavaria in germany

  13. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, Nora!
    Wishing you a blessed 2022!💕

  14. It all looks so cozy. I didn’t get the baking gene. Is there anything you can’t do? Enjoy your family and have wonderful memories. Tusm for all the hours of reading pleasure u give us .

  15. Family is the best! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  16. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Nora-
    My mother, my daughters and I are all fans. Your stories are our vacations and your chats one come friends. I missed Marco for days!
    Thank you for all the joy you bring us.

  17. Merry Christmas Nora! I hope you have a wonderful holiday full of things that make your heart smile. You are such a gift to all of us. I’m so thankful for all you do to make this thing called life truly special.

  18. Happy Holidays to you and your family. Those cookies looked wonderful and made me hungry.

  19. You have beautiful grandchildren! They are very lucky to have you as their Nana. I so admire your productivity, and your endless capacity for joy. I wish your and yours the very best holiday season. Thank you, as always, for sharing your life with us.

  20. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year!!!

  21. Merry Christmas Nora to you and your family.
    Starting another book– great!!
    Best wishes from England.

  22. Blessings to you and your family, and thank you for the many hours of joy, happiness and tears that you have given me through out the years

  23. Thanks for sharing your life at this time of the year. My very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year to you, Laura and your families! May God bless all of you.

  24. Feliz navidad. Que sea memorable,cómo es todo junto a la familia. Abrazo desde Cuba 🇨🇺.

  25. Merry Christmas and may the new year be a great one. Thank you for the many hours of enjoyment reading your wonderful imagination. I wish I was that talented and you are greatly appreciated.

    1. May Peace, Health and Happiness, be with you and your family, sending Greetings from East Sussex UK and a very Happy reader of your books, your skill and dedication is amazing.🤗

  26. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! Love all your books . Wonderful escape from a crazy world. Thanks for all you do!! We appreciate you!!

  27. Wishing you and yours the happiest-and healthiest – Christmas!

    And cheers to a New Year filled with new books for your grateful readers!

    1. Merry Christmas Nora and to your family. Healthy wishes and blessings for the new year!

  28. What a wonderful Christmas picture you have sent to all of us! Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!!

  29. Merry Christmas everyone & Happy Holidays! I hope we all have a wonderful and healthy holiday season and new year!

  30. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family! Thanks for sharing! Stay healthy into 2022. I look forward when we can see each other again in person!! 🎄🌹❤️

  31. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Nora! Wishing you and your family a blessed new year. Enjoy the family time.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Laura!
    Wishing you a blessing in the new year. Hope all goes well with your hip surgery.

  32. Happy times reading your posts, Nora! Bless you and yours this holiday season!!

  33. Griffin is an absolute hoot!! Lol. Kayla is a great pastry chef too.
    We celebrated our Christmas on the 18th and is over for us grown ups. The grandkids are still waitron Santa to come to their house.
    We didn’t do a traditional Christmas this year. My grandson Jasper wanted Chicken and Dumplings and my granddaughter Zoey wanted homemade macaroni and cheese. I did fix dressing and gravy and Ford hook Lima beans and crescent rolls.
    My baby sister Darla made the potato salad and a chocolate eclair cake( delicious)
    I didn’t do any pies or cakes. So glad Darla did lol.
    I’m always in the kitchen all day and when everyone gets here they socialize while I finish up.
    We eat first, then pass out the presents then it’s back to the kitchen for to start cleaning up. There’s always pictures being taken, but I’m never in them or I’ll be in the group photo. This year I was in two lol. My middle sister Debbie got one of me as I got the dressing out of the oven and set it down to cool.
    It’s usually a long day in the kitchen for me and I’m a happy, but tired Grammy. I love it when everyone is Raytheon food I cooked and tell me that I’m a great cook! Makes the day worth it.
    I hope you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Once again, thank you for all you do for us, ( your fans )

    1. When everyone is enjoying my food. Don’t know where that Raytheon came from lol. Stupid spell check. I should reread what I’ve written before hitting send lol

  34. Happy healthy holidays to you and yours Nora!!! Thank you for sharing your lovely tradations with us!!!
    Take care!!

  35. I’ve read several accounts of grandparents now trying to reconnect with their very young grandkids that don’t remember all the snuggles and loving on them. It’s so hard on both sides. Glad you had a good time with him. Thanks for the catch-up with Griffin, Kayla and the gang. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and looking forward to the New Year.

    1. It’s taken months for Griffin to re-bond with me. And yes, very hard! I’m so grateful Jason and Kat make the effort to bring him up to us as much as possible now, after those initial months of isolation.

  36. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. 🎄

  37. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Nora. And to everyone here. 🎄

  38. Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I’m glad you had a great (and covid-free) holiday and hope that continues into the new year.

    I have the same rug as the one you have in the living room! Random, I know, but I got super excited when I saw the very distinct corner of it in the picture! Lol

  39. I did the same with the Christmas decorations this year. Needed the cheer to start early as covid is on year two. Everything decorated and this year for the very first time in my 50 years of marriage, we went to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving. My daughter is in her new house and we went there. Didn’t have to cook for two days. It was really marvelous. Granddaugher Kahiau is also home from college and staying with us as her parents house is in cleaning mode. Might not see her in awhile as she goes to New Zealand for her spring semester of her sophomore year. Cheers to everyone for the New Year.

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