“Do you ever get a sign from Spence?”

Tonight granddaughter Kira dropped by with a Shepherds Pie made by daughter-in-law Tonya. It was the best Shepherds Pie I’ve ever had, every bite flavorful and satisfying. The food equivalent of a warm hug.

Spence never met Tonya, they would have loved each other. Shepherds Pie – if on a menu he’d order it every time. Seriously every time. I sat in his chair while enjoying this meal and thought, “yup this is a sign”

Tonya’s Shepherds Pie



A year ago I was beginning preparations for the annual Wolfe family Christmas Eve, a tradition that Spence and I started years ago. For my grandkids, it’s the only Christmas Eve they’ve known. With the house decorated, delicious food, surrounded by family, laughter and gifts galore in front of a roaring fire, the tradition continued even after we lost Spence. This year the house is decorated but the Christmas Eve festivities had to be cancelled due to Covid.

So you might be asking, isn’t this post titled gratitude?

In a year fraught with crisis, chaos and isolation for long periods of time I make a point of reminding myself that I’m okay when staggering numbers of people are not.

I’ve lost no one to Covid.

I have my health, a warm home and no worries about where my next meal is coming from.

Tipper and Biscotti, (my cats) are my roommates. They entertain me, snuggle endlessly and don’t seem to mind that I talk to them…a lot. I may be the only human in my home but I’m never alone.

I’m grateful that I moved Mom to my home for six weeks when the Covid crisis was in the first surge. She loves my cooking. We played games and had non-stop quality time together while remaining safe. I introduced her to the Gilmore Girls – a favorite of mine that I’d recommended countless times. She was hooked and it seemed fitting to share a show featuring a mother and daughter with my own mom.

Home delivery of groceries is something I hadn’t imagined I would ever do but that changed in March of 2020. It was a godsend during those early months.

I’m grateful for my garden. It got me out of the house and into fresh air and sunshine creating beauty that surrounded me all summer.

Puzzles, countless puzzles kept me entertained for hours while shifting my focus away from the worries of the outside world.

I’m grateful for knowing myself enough to take breaks from the news. While I want to be informed, watching the news felt like being bludgeoned for most of 2020. Sometimes a girl needs a break.

Music and books have always been things I love. They became an essential and integral part of coping during long stretches of alone time.

Streaming took on new meaning in 2020. I’ve discovered fascinating documentaries and series that captivated me. I’ve watched critically acclaimed movies that I’d always intended to watch.

After postponing a road trip to my beloved Wears Valley in May, I was able to go in September. Having traveled here many times, I sought out activities that avoided crowds and would be safe, which brought me to the Great Smoky Mountains Art community. I took classes in pottery, glass blowing, fused glass and painting with alcohol ink. It was transformational and something I might not have done if not for Covid. From the number of blog posts, it’s clear to see that painting is now a hobby/passion/obsession of mine for which I’m grateful.

I’m grateful for the scientists who worked tirelessly to find vaccines that will eventually eradicate Covid.

I’m grateful for the return of hope I feel for our country as we approach inauguration of qualified, compassionate leadership in January 2021.

Thank you to my followers, you have my gratitude as well. I wish you a Merry Christmas, good health and a Happy New Year. Be safe.

My first 24 tiles

I’ve been sharing my tile art through various social media accounts and garnering lots of positive feedback. One question (likely due to the number of posts) is “what’s the plan for these”? That’s a great question….for now I’ve been enjoying them displayed like this!

Creating beauty and focusing on art rather than the sadness, uncertainty and stress of 2020.
I pop in my AirPods, select my favorite playlist and start painting, like a spa day for my mind.

Self Care, part seven

Making yourself a priority is something everyone can benefit from. Whether dealing with loss, trauma, stress or life in general, it’s important to do something just for you, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Tune into what you need and take a self care break.

None of us knows how long we have, treat every day as a gift, make it count.

59 Candles, 59 Things – part forty eight



Fifty sixth thing:  As I near the final few posts in this series, I want to reflect the blessings in my life.

Waking up after a restful night’s sleep, having tea while snuggling with Tipper and Biscotti are little moments of peace and joy each morning.


Seeing my weight loss on the scale (thank you Weight Watchers) is gratifying and until the last few months, wouldn’t have merited a mention.

Being married to Spence, having shared more than 25 years together is such a gift. I’m grateful for our travels and the home we’ve made, filled with years of happy times.

I’m grateful for my garden and perhaps more so for my ability to handle the amount of physical commitment to stay on top of it.

I’m lucky to have the love of a family that I’m close to and proud of and friends that have enriched my life beyond measure.


I’m blessed with good health and enjoying every minute of retirement, getting to fully explore many interests and experiences with enthusiasm.



I feel lucky to acknowledge each day how much good surrounds me and to be aware of the gift that is this moment.