Order, Grace and Joy
The Seasons Company Newsletter
Volume 2, No. 11 November 1, 2010
Now Available – 2011 Binders and Binder Refills, as well as Lined Blank Pages, Blank Pages, and Address Book Pages – Order Today for More Order, Grace and Joy in 2011!
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
- G.K. Chesterton
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many, with its simple focus on gratitude and the gathering of friends and family around the table. Thanksgiving is also a perfect example of time well managed and well experienced: we take the time to plan the perfect holiday, enjoy the preparation, and savor the celebration as it comes to pass. Everything is done with thought and love, and even the most mundane chore takes on a special meaning in light of anticipation.
The potential for pleasure and creativity abounds at Thanksgiving, as well as the holiday season soon to come. While this season often finds us bemoaning a lack of time, making a conscious effort to find the pleasure and creativity in the holidays is a magical way to slow down time so that it can be savored, not mourned. Cooking, baking, sewing, or gardening are just some ways to capture time – as well as grace and joy. Whatever your special activity is, be sure to make time for it in your day planner. Rather, take time for it rather than make it: A To Do list can be infinite, but our lives and our potential are not.
Thanksgiving is also a ritual reminder to reflect on all the blessings of our lives. When I take some quiet time to make a list of all that I am grateful for, I am always surprised by the length of the list, as well as some of the items that come to mind. Morning coffee, a new friend, a thoughtful note or email – all simple, but worth savoring a second time for twice the joy. Since so many of these simple pleasures get lost in memory, a nice ritual – whether in the moment or at the end of the month – is noting these happy occasions on the blank lined page at the end of every month of the Seasons day planner. At the end of the year, it makes a wonderful record of many special moments.
From planning a fabulous menu to creating a gratitude list, savor the season for all the joy it brings. No other time of the year gathers us in in quite the same way. Plan each day thoughtfully, and create the foundation of order that allows for more moments of grace and joy. Those are the moments that become the memories.
P.S. You are always welcome to forward this newsletter to a friend, or invite her to visit www.seasonsdayplanner.com to sign up for monthly delivery on the first of every month.
Some thoughts on Order, Grace and Joy as found in the Goals section of the Seasons day planner-
Many customers asked for additional pages for the Address Book, so I am happy to offer sets of 20 additional pages for $5.00 plus shipping. This comes just in time for sending holiday cards! On that note, taking some time to plan ahead for the holidays will leave more time for fun and celebration later, so sometime in November take a quiet hour to think about a gift list, what your holiday card will look like, and what special memories you would like to make this year. Ask family and friends what performances they might like to see and get tickets, or what outings they might like to go on and allocate a date for them. Other suggestions for planning this month include any holiday entertaining you might like to do, as well as any baking or crafting.
Next month’s newsletter will include a holiday checklist with more specific instructions for making everything merry and bright. In the meantime, planning ahead for the big picture will let you gather inspiration for all your plans throughout the month of November.
At Thanksgiving grace is cultivated in many ways, and one of the most important is the blessing at the table. This moment of focused stillness gives us a profound sense of connection and deep peace, marking the occasion as a true celebration of life.
Some begin Thanksgiving dinner with a ritual prayer, memorable as an annual tradition that marks the true beginning of the celebration. Others search for new words every year, looking for those that will sum up the unique qualities of the present time. For inspirational prayers from all faith traditions, this month I recommend two lovely books that I have enjoyed at home: 100 Graces: Mealtime Blessings by Marcia M. Kelly and Jack Kelly, and Saying Grace: Blessings for the Family Table by Sarah McElwain. With many styles of grace to choose from, both children and adults enjoy looking through these books for the perfect blessing. 100 Graces is beautifully illustrated with calligraphy, and includes one of my favorite blessings, from Our Lady of Solitude House of Prayer in Black Canyon City, Arizona.
May prayerful peace flow outward from here,
Touching with grace all those
Whom you love and all the earth as well. Amen.
The leisurely pace of the four-day Thanksgiving weekend means we’re able to revel in the luxury of free time. Time to walk, to read, to cook or craft. Time to spend with family or friends, or time to shop for them in anticipation of holidays to come. What would you like to do with these four days? This week, jot down some ideas for the perfect day, and make plans to allow that vision to come true. This allows plenty of time to finish the book you’ve had on your nightstand, make a date with a special family member to do something fun, or enjoy a more relaxed, come-as-you-are post-Thanksgiving celebration with turkey sandwiches and football. Whether it’s an activity done best in solitude or one that involves family and friends, savor the time, and enjoy.
Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream
For the cake:
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13 x 18 x 1 sheet pan, then line with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until light yellow and thick. Switch speed to low, and add pumpkin. Slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula, pour into prepared pan, and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the top springs back when gently touched.
While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish towel on a flat surface and sift the entire ¼ cup of powdered sugar evenly over the surface. As soon as the cake is finished baking, loosen the edges of the cake and invert it squarely onto the towel. Peel away the parchment paper. Gently roll the cake and the towel into a roll, starting at the short end of the cake. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the filling, fit an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and beat together the mascarpone, powdered sugar, and cream together for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Stir in the crystallized ginger and the salt.
To assemble the cake, carefully unroll it onto a board with the towel underneath. Spread the cake evenly with the filling. Re-roll the cake in a spiral using the towel to assist you. Remove the towel and trim the cake ends to make a neat edge. Dust with additional powdered sugar and serve sliced.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients by Ina Garten, page 212.
The Seasons Company was created to give women beautiful and useful tools for organizing and creating their lives based on themes of order, grace and joy.
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Order: Home, Garden, Cooking; Financial Planning; Health & Appearance
Grace: Spiritual Well-Being; Creativity; Travel & Adventure
Joy: Family & Friends; Community Involvement; Work & Education
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