Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

December 2020
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Hoping for a Better Year in 2021
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 1:59 pm
I hope my readers are well and safe, and that you all had a good Christmas, Hanukkah or Winter Solstice, however you celebrate the long winter days. I love the promise, joy, lights and magic of Christmas. But this year everything is so different for all of us. Instead of our normal 25-30 around the table on Christmas Eve, it was just my husband and me. And we were thankful to have each other as well as FaceTime with the family! We watched our favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, on Christmas Eve. After our dinner, we tuned in to PBS and watched three beautiful Christmas concerts: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, St. Olaff University and Belmont Music College of Nashville,Tenn. Of course, they were all from recent past years, no masks and no social distancing. It made us feel like Christmas. On Christmas Day, besides many phone calls, we watched PBS’s Rick Steven’s Christmas Around the World and a wonderful movie, Christmas Angel, we streamed from Prime.

In the weeks before Christmas we watched a few other older Christmas movies, plus a few on the Hallmark channel. I also read two more Christmas novels, The Christmas Star and The Christmas Town by Donna Van Liere. I prefer reading her books much more than watching the Hallmark movies!

Our decorations are still shining brightly and the sight of it makes us feel happy on these long winter days. I’ve been shoveling snow everyday. I don’t want it to get ahead of me, much harder to shovel then. It’s so beautiful to look out the windows with the snow laying softly on the trees and shrubbery like delicate lace.

I’ve read only a couple other books this month:
McKean County Murders & Mysterious Deaths, by James T. Baumgratz. Nonfiction, 2020. It was an interesting book, probably more so if you live in northwestern Pennsylvania. It’s well researched and well written. I was reading late one night and planned to go to bed as soon as I finished the chapter that ended on page 98. I glanced at page 99 and read the caption under the picture: Col Parker’s tomb near where Roy Himes lost his life. My dad’s name is Roy Himes! You can imagine my shock. Of course, this was not my dad, but it kept me reading till the end of that chapter!

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves. Fiction. Murder/Mystery. 2019. This book was a Christmas gift this year. My friend said she really loved this writer, I’d never even heard of her before and she’s extremely prolific and successful. Two of her book series were made into successful television series: Shetland and Vera. Of course, I haven’t watched them either. BUT I plan to and I will definitely read more of her books. She’s a wonderful writer. This novel is the first one in a new series.

My list of books for this month ends there. My Registered Nursing license expired Oct. 31, 2020. I’d forgotten about it; I had not received notification which usually arrives a month before the expiration. I did receive an email late in November from the PA Office of Professional Licensing, stating the governor had extended the renewal deadline for expired licenses until December 31, 2020 due to the Pandemic. The only thing I had to do was complete 30 hours of CE credits! I felt both hopeful and overwhelmed with the prospect of saving my RN license. I had hardly started wrapping gifts or baking, but my shopping was done. Two college granddaughters came the second Saturday of December and helped me wrap gifts. From then on I concentrated on completing 30 credits. I made it! Dec 29th I submitted my credits, the completed nursing application and the license fee. Whew! Having struggled as a single mother after my divorce many years ago, I know the value of being able to support myself, my nursing license is important to me. As long as I remain healthy, it gives me a sense of security. A girl just never knows.

I received word this morning that my dear Aunt Phyllis, who was like a second mother to me, died last night. She’s suffered with dementia the last couple years and her physical health has declined rapidly since a fall a few months ago.There have been lots of family phone calls this morning, there will be no immediate services due to Covid. I made her famous Date Ball Cookies a few days ago and she’s been on my mind so much lately, perhaps God was getting me ready to say good-by.

Obviously I have not done much writing this month, unless you count 200 Christmas cards. And now I must start writing my Christmas thank-you notes. I’m not complaining; I realize I am blessed.

Till next time, please stay safe and well. 
And do keep reading.

Later, Ann 

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