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.
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February 2023
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12/31/22
December Blog
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 6:37 pm
December has been a wild ride with the blizzards, many being sick, plus the joy, love and pressure of Christmas. We both had mild cases of Covid earlier in December and sadly had to miss several planned social events. We recovered enough to host our annual family Christmas Eve celebration. They all braved the roads which were still quite snowy with icy patches, and everyone made it here and home again without incident. We extend our dining room table plus added two others, cover them all with festive red tablecloths and Christmas dishes to seat 26 family members. All the grands were here, (except Steph, she arrived home form Mobile, AL a few days later.) All the great grands were here, ages 2, 4, 5 ,7, two 9s and 11 - all were super-excited for Christmas! Our 15 year old Maddie, is bright and beautiful as well as a big help with meal preparations. Everyone pitches in where needed, so necessary with large families. As I sat and looked down the stretched-out table, I couldn’t help wonder when and if we’d all ever be together like this again. Ethan who serves in the US Air Force, here with his wife and darling 2 year old son, from S.D. Hayley and her fiance with help from her family, spent Dec. 24 packing a U-Haul truck.They left Dec. 26 for Charleston S.C. where they both start new positions in early January.
We also celebrated college graduations. Mauley earned a degree in elementary education and started teaching the next week. Anthony, THE fiance, earned a Cyber Security degree and looks forward to his new and first position in his field. Anyone who’s ever been hacked knows we need more like him! We’re all so proud of our Allie, she works 30 hours a week and is a full-time college student. She’ll graduate in April with an RN degree. She’s the mother of the 5, 7 and 9 year olds and she has a wonderful husband. He’s the kind of father who realizes taking care of his own children is parenting and could never be considered babysitting. (Trust me, there are lots of Dad’s who never figured that out!)
Also a big event happened in our lives: We finally found THE right puppy for us, after a few near misses. He is super adorable, half poodle and half shiatsu, all black and a non-shedder. He’s sweet, cuddly and really smart. My daughter picked him up for us the week we had Covid and kept him for the first week. She named him Georgie, it seems to be the perfect name for this cagey little fellow. It was a rescue situation. It will be two weeks tomorrow since he’s been with us.
Reading has taken more of an effort on my part since Georgie came to live with us. But I’ve managed to read a few books this month.
An Irish Country Yuletide by Patrick Taylor. Fiction. 2021. (An early Christmas gift from a dear friend.)  This was a cozy read with familiar characters in a new adventure. I love Taylor’s books and have read many of them, though not all. You can read them in a series or as stand alone novels. If you’ve got a bit of Irish blood in your veins, you really should read a bit of Irish literature. It will warm your heart.
A Plain and Simple Christmas by Amy Clipston. 2010. Fiction. This is a small novel I picked up at Ollie’s. It’s set in Lancaster, PA. about an Amish girl who falls in love with an Englisher, (anyone who is not Amish). Though he is a kind,  hard working young man, and a devout Christian - her father cannot forgive her for leaving the fold. It’s a lovely story and helps us outsiders understand the Amish a bit more.
1225 Christmas Lane by Debbie Macomber. 2011.  Fiction. If you are not a Macomber fan, you should still read this book. It’ll help you understand why she’s such an amazing success.This story’s about a family and a litter of puppies left on dog rescuer’s porch a week before Christmas. The heroine also happens to have a thriving Christmas Tree farm, and a host of wonderful local characters. It’s beautifully written and if it doesn’t put you in a Christmas spirit…even in the weeks after Christmas, I don’t know what could. It might even nudge you to get a puppy!
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoudrels by India Holton. 2021. Fantasy/Fiction. The writer is a New Zealander with an awesome imagination. This is one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read. It’s a Christmas gift. There’s a long list of characters at the front of the book that I referred back to many times while reading. It reminded of contraries’ as her characters are consistently opposite what we consider normal. If you’re interested in flying houses unconventional women and charming rogues–this could be a great book for you. *It was A Notable Book of the Year by the NYTimes, 2022.
 
We also watched many Christmas movies, The most memorable for us: A Storm for Christmas, we streamed it on Netflix. It is a whole season, about 6 or 7 episodes of groups of people stranded at a large airport over the holidays due to a massive winter storm. We were really tired one night about 10 p.m. and decided to watch just one show, but soon forgot we were tired, ended up watching the entire season and going to bed about1:30 in the morning! It’s especially pertinent now given the huge numbers of people who  really were stranded for days at airports over Christmas holidays.
That’s all for this year. Stay safe and well, my friends. And keep reading. 
Happy New Year!
Later, Ann

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