dual personalities

Category: prayer

“Take ’em to Missouri, Matt.”*

Huzzah! We have a long weekend ahead of us and perhaps some actual places to go! Or we may just stay in and listen to music and watch movies, because–of course–it’s supposed to rain all weekend!

Monday is Memorial day and one of the ways I typically observe Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, is to watch a good war movie. Here are a few suggestions, mostly old movies as is my wont, but please note I have included one from the 21st century!

They Were Expendable (1945) John Ford directed this story of a PT boat unit defending the Philippines during WWII. John Wayne and Robert Montgomery star.

Cry Havoc (1943) A mostly all-female cast portrays a group of Army hospital volunteers stationed in Bataan during WWII. In some ways it is standard wartime melodrama, but the ending, as the brave nurses and volunteers fall into the hands of the Japanese, is quite powerful. Margaret Sullavan and Joan Blondell star.

Twelve O’Clock High (1949) Gregory Peck stars as a general who takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into shape before collapsing himself under the strain.

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Robert Emmett Sherwood adapted MacKinlay Kantor’s story of veterans returning to their hometown after service in WWII. William Wyler directed; Frederic March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Harold Russell star.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending Indian uprising following the disaster at the Little Big Horn. John Ford directed; John Wayne stars.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) An Army medic and conscientious objector becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor for incredible acts of valor without having fired a shot. The scenes during the Battle of Okinawa in WWII are very intense and more graphic than I like to see, but the movie is a good one. Directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington.

Monday is also John Wayne’s birthday (🎉🎉🎉) so I will probably be leaning toward They Were Expendable. 

Last Monday (our regular John Wayne movie night) I watched Red River (1948) and it was great. John Wayne and Montgomery Clift play so well off each other.  Clift was never better.

So you might want to check it out as well.

I should also note the passing of Indian-born Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.  Ravi’s ministry gradually evolved, but his basic focus remained the same: to “help the thinker believe and the believer think.”

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In March doctors discovered a malignant tumor when he underwent back surgery. He began receiving treatment, but two months later they deemed his cancer untreatable and he died shortly thereafter. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

And I really want one of these face masks from the National Cowboy Museum! #HashtagTheCowboy…

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*Tom Dunston to Matthew Garth in Red River. They end up taking ’em to Kansas, of course, in order to avoid the marauding border ruffians in Missouri.

A cloud of witnesses

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and managed to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord in some sort of positive style.

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The wee babes dressed up and had an egg hunt at their house, but couldn’t come over and see us (sigh). However, we were blessed to have daughter #1 drive home to “check on us.” We got dressed up and watched the Christ Church, Charlottesville, Easter service (Rite I with a trumpet!) on Sunday morning. I enjoyed it very much.

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We ate Episcopal soufflé, salad and croissants. We have had big family groups in the past, but we were grateful for the three of us to be together this year. We also worked on a jigsaw puzzle…

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…while listening to records. And then we watched Ben-Hur (1959).

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 12.42.49 PM.png All in all, a lovely weekend.

Now I am trying to get back into the working-at-home routine.

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I should eat more Cheerios.

And don’t think I have forgotten that today is the birthday of daughter #2! She is 30!

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She will be having her own baby soon and we can’t wait! It seems like yesterday that she was born on Easter Saturday.

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Sunrise, sunset…

We will toast her tonight…

God bless us, every one.

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

“This lemonade is insane!” “That’s because it’s a Margarita, Paul”*

We had a super fun visit from daughter #2, although she left a day early (😭) because DN was worried that she might get stuck here and then what would he do?! (He’s very sweet.) Well, all is well, and no one will be traveling for awhile.

Besides gabbing at home, we did go out to eat a couple of times–in restaurants that were half full. The wee babes came over a few times to see their Aunt Susie. And, of course, we went to the lovely baby shower hosted by my BFFs Becky and Carla.

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Live from Portland, it’s Edwina!

IMG_3810.JPGEverything was perfect and little baby Underland will be well supplied and adorably dressed when she arrives.

On Friday night when daughter #2 hung out with her friends who had flown in from Denver for the shower, daughter #1 and I stayed in and watched Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), which is one of our favorite go-to stress-reliever movies. And, lord knows, we are all stressed, right? So I recommend Paul Blart.

Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 2.26.44 PM.pngSunday night, after everyone had gone home and I was sunk in despair, I chilled and self-medicated by watching The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) which featured John Wayne in buckskins…

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Yes, that’s Oliver Hardy with the Duke!

and a really good score by George Antheil, American avant-garde composer, of all people.

Yesterday it was back to work as my flyover university endeavors to figure things out and we edge closer to telecommuting. Heavy sigh. This too shall pass.

Take it easy and wash your hands!

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Jesus said to his followers, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27).

*Paul Blart: Mall Cop

“A little bit of this, a little bit of that”*

Quelle busy weekend–mostly spent cleaning and organizing. But I don’t hate that. I get a certain sense of accomplishment out of seeing my closet organized and putting a big bag of cast-offs in the trash cart. (Don’t worry, I also have an ongoing bag for the Vietnam Vets.) A place for everything and everything in its place–at least for a little while.

I also went to a workshop for “lectors”–we’re not supposed to say “lay readers” anymore–at church and it was okay. Not that I needed it! (haha) Our leader did make one pointed plea that lectors ought to look nice and wear appropriate attire in the Lord’s house. I know he was aiming this at one particular (very rich) guy who always looks like he has been driving his tractor around the south forty (as he also did on Saturday morning) before coming to church, but we all know it went right over his head.

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Que sera sera.

Speaking of church, on Sunday we were given instructions on how to pass the peace during the coronavirus scare (no touching!)…

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and how to take communion (no intincting!) Good grief.

This was reassuring.

We didn’t see the wee babes this weekend. Lottiebelle had been sick with the flu-b, but she was back at school on Monday in fine fettle…

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A new haircut I guess

Over the weekend we watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) continuing our Woody Strode tribute.

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It is such a great movie, although, as I’ve mentioned a zillion times, Jimmy Stewart is distractingly too old for his part. John Wayne is terrific though and well worth the price of admission. It is really a very sad movie, all about time passing and choices made and lost love. And we see that the media and politicians haven’t changed much (or improved) over the years.

Speaking of movies, Max Von Sydow died last week. Who can forget his portrayal of Jesus with a Swedish accent in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)? He was not that great in a not-so-good movie. But he was great in other movies, most notably in The Seventh Seal (1957), playing a 14th century knight who challenges Death to a game of chess in exchange for his life, which leads to an examination of whether or not God exists.

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In other news, today is Three Flags Day, which commemorates March 9 and 10, 1804, when Spain officially completed turning over the Louisiana (New Spain) colonial territory to France, who then officially turned over the same lands to the United States,  in order to finalize the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

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On March 9, 1804, Amos Stoddard, the new U.S. lieutenant governor for District of Louisiana, and Meriwether Lewis arrived in St. Louis by boat and were met by the Spanish lieutenant for Upper Louisiana. The Spanish flag was lowered on March 9, and the French flag was hoisted to fly over the city of St. Louis for 24 hours. The French flag, initially supposed to have been lowered at sunset, remained under guard all night. The next morning, March 10, 1804, the American flag was raised. Huzzah!

A few weeks later on April 30, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed by Robert Livingston, James Monroe and Francois Barbe-Marbois at the Hotel Tubeuf in Paris. I’d say that deserves a toast!

Have a good week!

O Eternal God, who hast taught us by thy holy Word that our bodies are temples of thy Spirit: Keep us, we most humbly beseech thee, temperate and holy in thought, word and deed, that at the last we, with all the pure in heart, may see thee and be made like unto thee in thy heavenly kingdom; through Christ our Lord.

–A prayer from B.F. Wescott, whose feast day was yesterday.

*”Anatevka” from Fiddler on the Roof

Ad referendum*

Daughter #1 asked me to post today because she got home from her trip to D.C. late last night.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 8.22.28 PM.pngHaving shot my wad yesterday, I was at a loss. [I’ll let Sen. Orrin Hatch remind you what “to shoot one’s wad” means.]

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I haven’t seen the wee babes for a couple of weeks, but luckily the boy keeps me up-to-date with what they are doing at school…

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Lottie staying inside the lines, the wee laddie not so much…

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Learning to toast in preschool (“L’chaim!”)

Today on the Episcopal Church calendar we honor Charles Freer Andrews, an Anglican priest and missionary, who was an educator and social reformer in India. He was a friend and associate  of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. Perhaps you remember him as portrayed in the film Gandhi (1982) by Ian Charleson.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 8.42.56 PM.pngGandhi’s affectionate nickname for Andrews was Christ’s Faithful Apostle, based on the initials of his name, “C.F.A”.  He is widely commemorated and respected in India.

Gracious God, you called Charles Freer Andrews to show forth your salvation to the poor: By your Holy Spirit inspire in us a tender concern, a passionate justice, and an active love for all people, that there may be one Body and one Spirit in Jesus Christ, our Savior; who with you and the same Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

And lest we forget:

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*For further consideration

“O come, O Bright and Morning Star, and bring us comfort from afar!”*

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Well, we have had a lovely relaxed time, taking it easy over the Christmas holiday. Since daughter #2 and DN left last Friday…

Unknown-3.jpeg…we have eased into our leisure time, going to lunch at some of our off-the-beaten-track favorites, like the Fiddlehead Fern restaurant…

IMG_0644.jpeg…taking afternoon naps, followed by a late afternoon glass of wine in front of the fire…

Unknown.jpeg…and watching movies…

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On Wednesdays we wear pink.

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The OM was in complete and utter hog heaven watching this movie. I really enjoyed it too.

I also went to the funeral of my dear friend Ruby. Daughter #1 kindly drove me to St. Charles, Missouri across the river where we found her Episcopal Church next to the campus of Lindenwood University. It was packed, because, of course, she was a devoted and active member. The service, which she had specified down to the last detail and saved in her safe deposit box, was Rite I and Rite II (the communion) and included her favorite hymns. It was lovely and nearly two hours long. Her ashes were buried afterwards in the memorial garden of the church, but not in a niche–in the ground. We all threw some dirt on top of her ashes (half of which are going to Wyoming) which I had never done before. I found it to be very meaningful.

Ruby was born and raised in the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas and she loved the wide open sky there.

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The Flint Hills, photo from National Geographic

She would get choked up talking about it. Several of her hymns reflected that:

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
Does his Creator’s power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an almighty hand.

–Joseph Addison, hymn #409

Anyway, her funeral was a true reflection of Ruby, which is as it should be. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Meanwhile, I was back at work Monday to check on things and go through 150 emails…Today we get ready to celebrate the new year: 2020! Can you believe it? Twenty years into the 21st century!

Then it’s back to the salt mine for real on Thursday. Speaking of salt mines, this made me laugh.

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Happy New Year! Make good choices!

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*John Mason Neale (1851)

One thing and another

As I have mentioned, I am reading the book of Luke, one chapter a day, in the month of December. I am enjoying it very much. It is all very familiar, but it is amazing how you forget specific things, such as this great passage in chapter 18:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

What a great reminder to all of us that we Pharisees need to be mindful of being sinners ourselves. “God be merciful to me a sinner!” indeed.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 9.32.03 PM.pngIn other news, it took two days, but we finally got the big tree up! The boy came over twice!

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We had to go to Walgreen’s twice to buy more  lights! Are we getting old or what? Don’t answer that!

It is that time of year when TCM Remembers all the Hollywood types who have died during the year:

There are a lot of familiar faces in there, including Valentina Cortese, Albert Finney, Rip Torn, Stanley Donen, and, of course, Doris Day. I was surprised to see Herman Wouk included–I somehow missed that he died in his sleep at the age of 103 in May. He was an interesting guy who wrote some good books that were made into good movies. Also, it might be time to dust off The War Wagon (1967) in memory of Robert Walker, Jr., who played Billy, the demolition expert, so affectingly.

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Anyway, I also just heard about a dear friend and fellow Episcopalian who died shoveling snow earlier in the week. Ruby had to be in her mid-eighties at least, but no one was going to tell her not to shovel her own driveway. I always said that Ruby would have made a good pioneer and, indeed, she died with her boots on, literally. I will miss her so much.

Into paradise may the angels lead you, Ruby. At your coming may the martyrs receive you, and bring you into the holy city Jerusalem.

On the brighter side, daughter #1 comes home for Christmas today. Daughter #2 and DN are driving here from Maryland and should arrive on Monday.

O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: Preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Even I am getting excited.

Humble and hearty thanks

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

– 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NIV)

We have a lot to be thankful for! For instance, I was glad to see that they are still making Thanksgiving art projects (in pre-school) using a handprint as the basis for a turkey.

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I am grateful that the OM and I can make an evening out of a take-out dinner and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)–which we did last weekend.  Who needs a night on the town? Not us.

I am grateful that I have been able to do the lion’s share of my Christmas shopping online this year, because I have barely been in a store in the last six months! However, I plan to “shop local” this Saturday to support our local economy. I know retailers need that. The boy will be putting in a lot of hours this weekend at his small business!

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Speaking of the boy, I am thankful that we will be celebrating his birthday on Thanksgiving! He was born on the day after Thanksgiving 33 years ago–before the day was universally referred to as Black Friday.

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He has been through a lot in his 33 years…

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…but he knows that adversity builds character.

I am thankful that two out of three of my children will be home for Thanksgiving and that we will enjoy a delicious meal followed by yummy pie and our annual viewing of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987). (Daughter #2 will be far away but well taken care of.)

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I am thankful that I don’t have to travel anywhere this week.

Although I am thankful for my job and all those I work with, I am also thankful to have a few days off from that job! I will be well rested (I hope) when I start my radiation treatments (28!) after this weekend. I am thankful for those too, right? Yes, I am.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, We thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks For all thy goodness and loving-kindness To us, and to all men; We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; But above all, for thine inestimable love In the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; For the means of grace, And for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, That our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, And that we show forth thy praise, Not only with our lips, but in our lives; By giving up ourselves to thy service, And by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

–BCP, A General Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mish mosh*

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We had our first snow of the season yesterday and, in fact, I had to call off afternoon classes and send everyone home early.  It is always a bit weird, though, when it snows and most of the leaves are still on the trees. The temperature dropped 40 degrees from what it had been over the sunny weekend.

Daughter #1 came into town on Friday because she was part of the big Veterans Day doings at the Soldiers Memorial downtown on Saturday.

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Members of the Scottish-American Military Society

I liked what Chris Pratt wrote about his older brother, a vet, on his Instagram:

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And this great picture of the Queen with her poppies. She remembers.

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scottmeachamwood @Instagram

I had my last chemo treatment on Friday and it was a surprisingly emotional experience to ring that bell and say goodbye to all those nice people who work in the Cancer Center at Missouri Baptist Hospital.

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Well, on to the next phase.

Over the weekend I re-read Delano Ames’ Corpse Diplomatique which I thoroughly enjoyed. Jane and Dagobert Brown are very diverting amateur sleuths and Jane is always saying things like:

I glanced at him witheringly and risked no comment. But Henry did not wither readily.

And we watched The Ten Commandments (1956). It is hard to beat Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner together in a movie.

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Be still my heart.

This movie holds up remarkably well and the pre-CG special effects–the parting of the Red Sea in particular–are impressive. I will also note that Yul Brynner was also in the King and I and Anastasia in 1956. Seriously–wow–quelle year.

The wee babes came over Sunday night for dinner, but no one took any pictures!

Today I will remind you is the 359th anniversary of the day John Bunyan was arrested and taken into custody for preaching in a Puritan meeting house in England. He was convicted as a dissenter and spent 12 years in jail. While there, he began a book–The Pilgrim’s Progress.

“Mr. Worldly-Wiseman is not an ancient relic of the past. He is everywhere today, disguising his heresy and error by proclaiming the gospel of contentment and peace achieved by self-satisfaction and works. If he mentions Christ, it is not as the Savior who took our place, but as a good example of an exemplary life. Do we need a good example to rescue us, or do we need a Savior?”

No surprise that it is still in print and read all over the world. It’s a story that never gets old. My denomination is full of Worldly-Wisemen, that’s for sure.

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Stay warm and drive safely.

*Yiddish for a motley assortment of things

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

We thank thee, O God, for the saints of all ages; for those who in times of darkness kept the lamp of faith burning; for the great souls who saw visions of larger truths and dared to declare them; for the multitude of quiet and gracious souls whose presence has purified and sanctified the world; and for those known and loved by us, who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller life with thee. Accept this our thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer, to whom be praise and dominion for ever.

–Kendall Harmon, A prayer for All Saints Day

So Halloween and All Saints Day have come and gone and we are on the downward slide to the end of the year! Zut alors, the year has sped by.

We had a lovely weekend visit from daughter #2 all the way from Maryland. She went with me to my weekly chemo session…

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 4.30.56 PM.png…and we managed to do some of our favorite things as well. Daughter #1 joined us from mid-MO and we went to estate sales…

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…and went out to lunch. We frolicked with the wee babes…

IMG_3774.jpegIMG_3769.jpegWe watched Spy (2015), which we still think is hilarious,

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and a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie starring Jodie Sweetin which was part of the Countdown to Christmas. (Yikes.)

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 4.39.23 PM.pngAnd daughter #2 made her famous macaroni and cheese. In addition, we gave each other foot spa treatments and sat around and talked and talked. And went to bed early.

Nothing better, am I right?

It was a good start to November which is a month when we like to consider how much we have to be thankful for, including these guys.

Enjoy your week!