Manic Monday: Oh, wait. It’s Twisted Tuesday.

Manic Monday: Oh, wait. It’s Twisted Tuesday.

Headline says it all. It’s going to be one of THOSE weeks. Between my out-of-town travel for a weekend retreat and the holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I am totally thrown off. I’d like to put out a blanket apology for any appointments or events I miss today — or this week — because it’s going to happen. I will be one day off until next Monday. So here’s how things stand on this Twisted Tuesday. (more…)

This Advent, stop the clock and savor the season

This Advent, stop the clock and savor the season

Don’t let the frenzy of the season rob you of the chance to wait in wonder this Advent. Here’s my OSV Newsweekly story from last Advent to get you in the spirit:

By Mary DeTurris Poust

By the time Advent officially begins, most of us have been bombarded by so much Christmas music and Christmas advertising and Christmas everything that we’re already sick of the season. In a world where the Christmas countdown begins sometime before Halloween, it’s easy to lose sight of the beauty of Advent, and to get so caught up in the material trappings that we can’t see the spiritual forest for the tinsel-covered trees. (more…)

The color before the storm

A lone red leaf amid the more dominant yellows and browns.

It’s been a weekend of leaves fading and falling fast — like giant snowflakes, covering the ground quicker than I can rake them away. We seem to have more leaves this year. Impossible, I know, but that’s how it feels. Perhaps it’s that they’re falling earlier than usual. Here are a few last shots of the beautiful colors.

A long shot of the mighty oaks, maples, and poplars that drop more leaves than you can imagine (especially if you don’t live in upstate New York).

Still plenty more to fall.

I loved this color combo in the late afternoon sun. Now those leaves are mostly gone.

Neighbor’s maple and our Korean dogwood.

 My favorite. I planted this Japanese maple soon after we moved here, just about 13 years ago.

Beautiful in every season.

 We don’t just have pretty leaves. We have fantastic fungi.

Hidden mushroom.
Lovely layers.

Here’s our autumn decor. It doesn’t look quite as picturesque now because the squirrels have eaten about one quarter of the pumpkin and a good chunk of the white gourd. No acorns this year. Not a one. So I guess the little critters are hungry.

Our house is a very, very, very fine house. With two cats, but not in the yard.

Home office, Part II: The circus side of sacred

I’m way back there in the corner to the left.

So when Dennis saw those photos of my home office virtual tour yesterday, he asked the Million Dollar Question: “Where’s the cat condo?”
Truth be told, I did get the cat condo in a few photos, but when I was posting, I had way too many photos. So, of course, the cat condo was among the first things to go.

Here, then, is the less flattering view of my office with all the flotsam and jetsam that is part of the deal. I still love it, even with the less-than-Zen nonsense that goes with it.

The photo above gives you the long view of the basement. My office is at the far end, just past the futon and video game section. But before you get there, you have to run the toy gauntlet.

This is where Barbie lives. She has a much better office.

How many cars does one Barbie need?

To the right of the overflowing toy bin, through that dark door is where the centipede lives.

Oh, that’s right. We have 73 Barbies. Lots of cars needed.

At least I can pick up breakfast on my way into work. This looks only slightly messier than our real kitchen.

Drive thru.

This (below) is where you leave the toy mayhem behind and enter my office. The Chinese characters spell out tranquility, home, and peace (or so I’ve been told). See that nifty board-game room divider I created? It’s supposed to be filled with office files and sacred objects. For now I have to go with Scrabble and Battleship. At the very least I guess I should put dried flowers in the empty vase.

Enter the tranquility.

Here’s what our cats are doing to the recliner near my office. Good thing they’re cute.

And still I refuse to de-claw them.

Behind my desk and right next to my sacred space is the cat condo. It’s not pretty, but it keeps them from trying to vault over the big-screen TV to get to the only other window. That sad little casement window is my only source of natural light.

When you’re in my office looking out, this is what you see…games…hermit crab tank…light saber…mini-fridge stocked only with 100 percent juice, fruit cups, seltzer, and the occasional pudding.

Can we at least get some macadamia nuts in that mini-fridge?

Someone yesterday asked if my office section always looks this neat. NO! That’s why I had to document it. Here’s what it usually looks like, and even this isn’t that bad for me.

Taken during a book-writing project, no doubt.

And finally, one last not-so-crazy look at my main office. See why I love it? If you click on it, you can see all my beautiful book posters up close. (My publishers are awesome.)

Take a virtual tour of my office

Main work desk, book posters, assorted goodies

I’m always talking about working from home — my incense, my candles, my stuff. So I thought today I’d invite you all in for a virtual visit. Now you’ll know where I’m coming from. (more…)

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