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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Getting into the Spirit..feeling the Hope of Advent

I will be very honest- the whole "Christmas" in or out of the Granville Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour put a damper on my spirits as we approached the date. Both sides had valid points and both sides had representation that I found very disappointing.  Our beautiful town's wonderful kick-off to an important and special time of joined step with national events that are interesting and disappointing at times. At the same time it is a very important time and we need these topics to be discussed, explored and even exposed.  I try to stay positive- we live in very very interesting times.  I could go on about this but will not...instead I'll turn to this wonderful time of year.

As readers of the blog know it was a very good Thanksgiving and that prepared me to be in a good place this past weekend and excited to welcome December.   Woosh- in my life on Newark-Granville Road December arrived with fantastic festivities and lots of wonderful music and fellowship.  The sermon on Sunday at FPC was all about Hope and it resonated so well.  I hope you will read it- coming soon here:  Karen's message was well timed and powerful. I take it for inspiration and a theme.  Here are some reflections on the weekend with humor and reflection, not deep but real.

The weekend included a beautiful cookie exchange. Cookie exchanges can cause me stress- this was an elegantly simple cookie centered gathering beautifully executed for mother-daughters. Joe gets bonus points for picking up Sally so I was able to stay the whole time. I attended with Clare first then Sally.  The hope and idea of enjoying the cookies sadly vanished when Griffey made way with my box of cookies.  I didn't need the calories but still.  I've reached out to some of the bakers of the cookies I was HOPING to taste and I'm on the list to be contacted when they bake again!

Hoping to find a great Christmas tree our afternoon included a visit to our beloved Messerall's. Search for the reason why we go here, beyond there continued great service and offerings.   I blogged about it on 12-8-14!  Four out of five us set out in lovely weather.  Each year it is a bit different and we understand trees and farming require processes and land.  This year no wagon ride, instead a good hike.  The trees available to us were not as tall as we hoped, so we tried something new- we came home with a pre-cut tree.  I have to say it is GORGEOUS! It is everything I had hoped it to be...big, a bit on the fat side, soft, small needles, great shape, no holes- the only thing it wasn't was in the ground, we didn't have to cut it down.  We did take a healthy hike around the property. We did vote on the process.   The one who was unable to attend gave two thumbs up on the end result.   It did take us some figuring out to get it up on Sunday.  Joe and I had words, I did raise my voice- keeping it real- not what I hoped for but we both said we were sorry and we carried on...changing the stand, redoing the lights and getting life on Newark-Granville Road inside festive and bright.  Tree isn't decorated- hoping for a great night with all of us home to do that!

Hoping to enjoy the music of the season was an easy expectation to have met in Licking County this weekend.  With all of the rehearsals and coordination of who goes where when how for the Walking Tour performance and the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra's Holiday event at the Midland- we hoped all would go well. We enjoyed FPC's Youth Choir so very very much this year.  Having all three kids in this choir is very special.  Joy Hire does an outstanding job bringing wonderful talent together all year long. The showcase for the walking tour allows us to clap and hoot and holler making it fun.  The addition of "Sisters" from White Christmas with two darling boys and the Plaugher sisters was just incredible.  This is a song my mother always wanted Sarah and I to sing- ha!  So seeing it executed so well by a family we share life on NG Road since we moved in was pretty wonderful.   Last night's event with the Granville High School Choir and Newark High School Choir joining the NG Symphony was certainly a delight.  Peter is part of the group and it was a treat to behold.  My middle child, my only son is growing up- tall and handsome and quite sharp in a tuxedo.  All of the students looked wonderful and sounded even better- a wonderful way to spend the evening.

The to-do lists are long, December brings additional work but so much fun.  I hope I can stay positive and stress free, maybe better said I hope I can keep the stress and worry about getting it done to a minimum. I hope I can be in the moments like I was (for the most part) able to do this weekend. I'm humming the music and smiling at the memories we made this weekend in our lives on Newark-Granville Road.  I'm looking forward to so many upcoming is going to be a wonderful month!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday Giving Season

I love giving Tuesday.  I even embraced Cyber Monday this year and I always partake in Small Business Saturday. I'm not a Black Friday shopper by the way.  I was in the great outdoors canoeing with family, celebrating Thanksgiving.  Life on Newark-Granville Road enjoys giving gifts and shopping for Christmas is a treat.  I prefer to wait until December and Joe knows this.  Maybe that is why he asked me last night while I was focused on the screen texting for sizes if I was getting deals or just getting things done?  All the more reason to embrace today's Giving Tuesday.

If you are reading this and didn't make a gift to your favorite non-profit- there is still time!  A bonus this year was an organization giving to charities on my behalf!  It was such a great way to start the day- they allowed me to select from one of three and I chose The American Red Cross.  My father receives blood twice a month- blood drives and collection are critical.  All of the natural disasters this year- hurricanes and fires alone- the Red Cross was there.  And I post today to ask you, if able, to donate beyond money, donate your blood.

I'm donating blood on Thursday at the Granville High School Latin Club's Blood Drive- please join me!!  Here is the scoop:
The Granville Latin Club will host a blood drive on November 30th from 7:45 am to 12:45 pm in the Granville High School Gym. For more information or to make an appointment to donate, email Derrick Fisher at or sign up online at  with sponsor code GranvilleHS. Walk-ins are also accepted. Donors will receive a Buy One Get One Free six inch sub from Subway of Granville. The Red Cross needs donors with all blood types, especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative. Double-red donations are also welcome and very much needed! This blood drive is our way of giving our school and community an opportunity to help save lives.

Tomorrow at Denison- time slots are available.  Can't make it this week- here are other opportunities- thank you for making time.

We can all make the concept of Giving Tuesday be an everyday event.  We can give our time and care, as well as our treasure.  I know it is the time of the year when the "asks", the solicitations are as plentiful as the emails advertising Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I hope Giving Tuesday's stories and testimonies were inspiring.  I'm inspired to share one of the reasons I give. One amazing bit of advice I value when it comes to making the decision, to give or not to give.

My father always said- do you enjoy the magazine from your alma mater? Cover those costs with a donation to the Annual Fund.  Do you like receiving invitations to events?  Want to be on the mailing list- make a donation.  The advice I share about networking or career experience- consider a non-profit volunteer opportunity!  Give your time and receive not only the satisfaction of making a difference, you can sharpen skills and meet amazing people.

Life on Newark-Granville Road encourages your giving today, tomorrow and everyday.  Stay tuned for more holiday updates....decorating coming soon!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Stoner Southern Style!

What a wonderful Stoner Thanksgiving.  Dawn and Matt hosted us so very very well and we all loved the quality time together.   These pics showcase just a few of the amazing activities and outings we all enjoyed!  We laughed, toasted, relaxed and really enjoyed the trip.  I didn't know how much I needed a trip like this - a true vacation, 70 degree weather pretty awesome!

We of course missed trotting in Granville's Turkey Trot- Matt and Dawn gave us an almost 4 mile route. Some of us ran, some walked, some took a ride. A great scavenger hunt was part of the fun for  the kids- inspired by Forest Drive days!  We all were pleased to have this exercise as we ate very well. Dawn is an excellent cook- what a treat!

A highlight for me was our canoeing trip on the Wekiva River.  Hmmm river? I've heard about this activity for years and was anxious to see it for myself.  I admit the idea of being close to alligators and snakes was concerning and added anxiety.  The day's cons- cold and rainy, nerves, inexperienced canoers.  The day's pros- willing participants, beautiful setting, incredible planning and packed lunch of left over turkey sandwiches- mto!! The results- Peter and Mom had some learning time about each other.  Or maybe better said I benefited from seeing Peter in this situation- we made memories and overcame a rough start. We did not capsize but zig zagged and barely made progress.  No worries of wildlife due to the banter.  Once we found shore and switched positions, did some yoga breathing we were great!  The hurricane damage did curtain our access, but the day worked out fine. We all had an adventure, can take pride in our success and enjoyed the fun of being together.  As usual I wanted to be in two places- my sister, sister in law and Mom shopped and enjoyed a great lunch out together- that would of been fun.  I'm glad I shared this beautiful with challenges outdoor adventure!

Matthew, Dawn, Grace and Emma have a beautiful home. You can tell they love to entertain and enjoyed having us as much as we loved being with them.  They shared their wonderful community, favorite haunts, loaned us cars, coordinated every detail. We are all very grateful for a Southern style Stoner Thanksgiving.  My father summed it up- we're lucky to have a family that likes to gather and likes being together.  Life on Newark-Granville Road had two fantastic family filled Thanksgiving- lucky lucky me!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

I like mine the old fashioned way....

or I should say, like to roast mine the old fashioned way. Life on Newark-Granville Road is roasting turkey! Yes roast, not fry or smoke, know me and know I'm kind of a classic, old school girl.  I admire and have enjoyed turkey prepared other ways...okay only once and it was an infrared prepared turkey.  It was moist and delicious.  It just isn't the way I want to prepare my turkey.   Although when I think about it the original turkey prep was probably over a spit! Hmmmmm......

We're hosting Leithauser Thanksgiving and I am loving spending time in my kitchen, getting ready to have the family together.  Sally helped me set the table last night and Clare made cookies for her contribution/favorite thing.  I'm grateful Joe hasn't expressed interest in taking on turkey component of the meal.  He is a great cook with some quite the repertoire- omelettes, insta-pot dinners and jambalaya from the Orioles cookbook. It is such a help to have a partner in the kitchen.  I just don't want his help on Thanksgiving.  Old school- I'll let him carve, not because I can't or he is a man, but because I have other things to do- like get the oysters in the oven and coach Sally on the potatoes at that time.

I love hearing about what others serve for their Thanksgiving meal.  I love sharing our traditions- sauerkraut, scalloped oysters are things that seem a bit different than others.  And I love to eat the full meal- I love everything that makes a Thanksgiving meal.  The menu this year on NG Road will include items that will hopefully please all in attendance.  I'm going a bit out of my usual m.o. to offer the buffet style T-giving.  We'll have two greens this year, not just the peas.  Clare fell in love with green bean casserole so green bean casserole will appear this year.  Peter (and I) love the peas- they stay.  We have a vegetarian at the table, adding roasted squash this year.  This is a nod to a Tgiving from years and years ago at a Great Aunt's house- I remember the never ending offerings that included things beyond my mother's usual. The introduction to cream corn was something I won't forget.    Of course the best part of the turkey day meal- the sandwich.  Hmmmmm homemade turkey noodle soup is right up there and the oyster stew.....something I forget about until I buy the oysters and always go for the quart not pint!

I enjoyed incorporating the Thanksgiving Farmers Market as part of my prep!  I was there at 8:30 am so I could get home to Mr. Turkey!  I made yoga this morning since no Turkey Trot. Two of the three are hope and helping with the last minute prep for company.  Clare's scrimmage is over and she'll join us soon.  There is much to be appreciate in the Leithauser family, in particular the Leithauser family. Life on Newark-Granville Road, old fashioned, happy and ready to give thanks.  Looking forward to a full week of Thanks-Giving, being in a place of gratitude and savoring family time.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Granville Village Happenings- Getting Involved

Joe and I recently talked about being more involved in our local governmence.  We define involved as being informed, aware of  important issues and engaged with those making important decisions. We're grateful to those who serve as elected officials and on important committees at all levels- school board, village, township, county and beyond, our zoning committees, councils, etc......We want to be intentional and go beyond Facebook and Twitter and a quick review of the Granville Sentinel to be knowledgeable and in a place to understand impact. We also want to have intellectual
conversations about important infrastructure and growth that is inevitable. This is our responsibility as residents on Newark-Granville Road.

To start we'll focus on the village council.  Yes, we live in the village.  Neighbors slightly south and east are in the township and not the village.    The boundries are interesting- not always what you think. This plays a big impact.  We learned this lesson years ago when we went to replace our septic system.  Past blog post-    Having the Health Department deny premission to install a new system that led to boring under the road to tap into the village sewer was indeed a grown up project. I learned a great deal in 2013 and have much still to learn.   Our water and sewar are key to our future.  Traffic flow is important- new neighbors were shocked at how fast cars drive and the speed limit- I remember being that person.  I remember being involved on the pathways committee and excited about plans to gain access to our schools and areas.  The Rotary bridge is such a great asset and I'm proud of our small role.  The kids went to village council and township meetings to advocate and were there at the dediction. We all benefit from the bridge. There is more work to do in so many areas.

In our lives on Newark-Granville Road, we are going to start being more involved by reading- reading the minutes of council meetings. Join us, here are two links. The first is general info about the council and the second are the most recent minutes available- Nov 1st. Timing is right as a topic presented at the meeting are five development projects on NG Road.

Stay tuned for more thoughts and please know we look forward to discussions and meetings- in person or on the phone, not on social media.  We'll also do our best to attend future council meetings.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Planes and Trains,Cabs and Uber and Amazon Bookstore!

Life took me off of Newark-Granville Road this week to NYC!  It was a good trip- great work visits with inspiring Denison parents AND a personal dinner with a dear Denison friend.  As I reflected on the trip I found figure eights manifesting. I truly believe life is figure eight motion. We come and go from people AND places, repeating in similar patterns. Polarity management showcases the figure eights with opposites and energy created in the movement between and it is all connected by the AND.

Plane ride- I'm the one who likes the window seat to take in the scenery- the disappearing and approaching landscape and beautiful skies.  Follow me on Facebook you know I had issues with Delta's customer service but persistence carried the day and I found a kind empowered agent to help. I also love those darn Delta crisp cookies. I also have to say LGA is coming along and has much to offer. I'm always going to be true to Southwest- but when flying to NYC...what is a girl to do- embrace Delta?!  I also love love love a train ride.  I love the stations and the time to sit and think, read, play a game on my phone, catch-up on FB.  It was an easy way to meet my friend in her town and enjoy a great dinner!!   NYC-6:15 pm Princeton Junction 7:30, 2 hour dinner and catch-up, train ride home allowed me to finish my book- in bed and asleep by 11:30.....great end to a great day!

I love how easy it is to get around NYC- I've really embraced subways this year in Boston, Chicago but time didn't allow that to be the case in NCY.  Uber is my preferred mode- I love the email payments.  However sometimes it is hard to find the meet up spot and voila cabs seem to be everywhere.  This trip I divided my time with cabs and ubers.  There is something fun about hailing a cab.

Since I finished my book I needed a new one before heading to the airport to wait out a stand-by flight home  When I found bookstore options close to my hotel- Amazon popped up.  Being a happy on-line customer I was very curious about the real-life in person store. I had amazing service and found a future book club option. It isn't the same as the Independent stores I adore- I have my favorites in Boston, Menlo Park and of course Granville- just down Newark-Granville Road...but data and distribution fascinate me and that is what Amazon is.

What I loved about NYC this trip is the ah-ha about how well all those people- 8.538 million people in 2016- so no doubt there are more Nov 2017- live and work together.  It has to be one of the most diverse cities in America for many reasons. And a range of diversity and it felt so peaceful there this trip. It felt that there was a rhythm of existence that I needed to breathe in, feel.  On Thursday morning I sat and enjoyed coffee and watched the this NYC world go by.  More "And"  poor and rich, homeless and tourist, a range of religions and political views, sneakers and heels, and so much more.  All of my experience could be in competitions or it could simply be -Can't beat 'em join them and keep the balance, keep the AND instead of the Or.  Figure eights of balance allow me to love my life- here and there, on and off Newark-Granville Road.

Quiet Hustle
Found my Denison trip read!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Reds, Yellows, Greens and Orange.....seasons of change.

Swirls of color all around town.  Swirls of emotions in my life on Newark-Granville Road.  Here are the happenings.....
-late color pop this Fall. I wasn't sure we'd have this at all. The wonderful warm weather seemed to be a swap for leaf show.  Not the case- this weekend the reds, the oranges, the lush green of the grass provided a treat to the senses. 
-sad news in church again, another death of a devoted member, someone who welcomed me to town when we moved here. A special friend's mother, the end of an era for this family. The gray sky set the tone and the color celebrated her life.
-I finished the book Dreamland, The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemicc by Sam Quinones.
An important read and as I shared with book club- "terrifying".  I thought I knew enough about this story. Joe listened to it on a vacation and shared key components. I didn't know enough- I needed to read it. I can't wait to discuss it.  Unofficial statistic tonight- 78 heroin overdoes in Columbus Ohio in a 12 hour period on Friday.  We have to talk about this and know about this. Stepping back it is fascinating, stepping in as a mother of three I'm so frighted by this.
-a creative, fun, literary gathering happened next door last night and it was such a delight.  Our whole family attended and engaged with our wonderful neighbors and their new friends, our friends. The hospitality was fantastic and after reading Dreamland, we recognized how important it is to develop these relationships as families with families.
-beautiful luncheon, gathering great group of women on Newark-Granville road- well done and thank you Kim and your front yard table inspiration to unite neighbors.

There are so many things happening and we're in transition time with sports, the seasons, my ankle, work and feels like the leaves in the trees, in the wind, in the yards.  Family and friend time keep me grounded and able to embrace the beauty- I'm grateful.