About Karen (formerly kcinnova)

I'm a 50yo former SAHM of 4 boys, happily married for 28 years. For 21 of those years, he was a soldier in the US Army. I've lived in 4 states and traveled all over the US and part of Europe. Now that my husband is retired, we are in a new chapter of life: he is the one preparing supper and I am working part-time as a church administrator. I enjoy photography, writing, crafting, hiking, camping and --most of all-- family time with my incredible menfolk. "Girl time" with friends keeps me sane. Jesus keeps me grounded.

Woman in Winter

Winter mocks her.

Despondency settles heavily on her brow like a sinus headache.

The steady drip of melting snow trickling off the eaves is just that: a trick. It will snow again. She knows this to be true.

DSCN1306  street view

Today’s roadway slush will freeze tonight into alien landforms. Walking outdoors is treacherous; slick ice with sloppy, wet, grayish-brown sludge on the offensive, ready to take her down. She despises shopping malls – if one more person suggests walking in one, she will scream. Besides, there is no time. She hasn’t seen her younger child since an early supper on Wednesday before he left for scouts, his shaggy unkempt hair incongruent with the neatness of the Boy Scout uniform. She lies awake late at night, trying to clear her mind and relax so she can sleep. Eventually, sleep comes – she suspects it arrives with a cast iron skillet like a cartoon fishwife.

Groggy mornings find her struggling (but not really – why fight the sleep that came so slowly?) to awaken. The children are already at school. She forces herself to go through the motions: shower, get dressed. She looks longingly at fleece lounge pants – too warm for sleep, they would be perfect right now. But she must leave for work and they are too informal for office attire, even for her. Wearing no make-up, she chooses nicer yoga pants that she hopes look like dress pants.

At work, she fakes happiness in a voice doesn’t belong to her. The more she accomplishes the further behind she feels. How important, really, is that particular task? Would anyone notice if it was done or left undone? She stays late at the office in a futile attempt to catch up, making mistakes that cost her more time.

She pulls into the driveway and turns the key, shutting off the engine. Life at home continued without her, of course. The fourteen-year-old has already shut himself in his room for the night. Her place is set at the table, her cold supper portion resting in serving dishes.

Rest. That’s what she craves. So much remains undone in her life: work, appointments. She sighs – and realizes that in the morning shuffle, she failed to take her medication. No wonder she is achy and sad. (There is no exclamation point because one of the forgotten pills is an anti-depressant.) If she takes one now, she will perk up and have trouble sleeping. It is better to wait for morning. Tomorrow is another day.


This post was originally written 4 years ago and left to languish in the “drafts” file. Today simply felt like the right day to set it free.




The internet is both helpful and destructive.

The same tool that allows a person to look up cold symptoms (e.g., “does green mucous require antibiotics?”) also allows strangers to deliver death threats to teenagers who have spoken out after surviving a massacre at their high school.

Computers are used for good and for evil.  And while I understand the use for health questions, I will never understand the cruelty that I learned about this past weekend.


The Groundhog was Correct

I doubted. Silly me.

DSCN3903 websized



Like Paris, only different

My go-to website for news is the BBC [dot com] and I’ve been following the flooding in Paris with a mix of horror and fascination. Whenever the Seine River floods, I worry over L’Orangerie and Monet’s Water Lilies in the round being swamped.

Tonight there is a warm wind blowing and when The Scout returned from a walk, he said it felt like mid-March. The wind arrived with plenty of rain to swell our river, although being “still January” and normally cold with a decent snowpack on the mountains, we don’t have to worry about flooding here… yet.

Photo of mural taken on a sunny fall day last year.



Women’s March 2.0

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My friend ~A~ and I marched this afternoon.  Our city had its march on Sunday, on the one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March. There were people of all ages, families spanning generations, males and females.  There were strollers and walkers and wheelchairs.

Since we were lucky enough to be near the front of the parade of marchers, we were able to station ourselves near the end and take photos after we were finished marching.  I was lucky enough to have such a good friend who made my sign for me; I gave her the words and she took care of the artistic part.

I didn’t march last year; I’d scheduled that day to visit our grandson. This year, we’d just seen them 2 weeks ago and it was past time for me to put my body and voice where I might be seen and heard because silence is not golden.  Love trumps hate, and I choose to persistantly stand on the side of love.

My feet hurt tonight but it was worth it.


Head Clutter

It’s been ten years since I started blogging. It’s been a month since I wrote anything here. I’ve written several things in my head, of course — which is where most of my non work-related writing takes place these days — but I haven’t come here and put it down, fingers to the keyboard, tappity-tap-tap-tap.

The thing is, my head is full and not all of it is pretty or pleasant. I could spew paragraph upon paragraph, raging about politicians who have sold out for …what? Blood money? Blackmail? Or are their hearts that hardened, to not care about the people they’re supposed to be representing?
An incompetent fool sits in the White House and tweets whatever strikes him off the top of his head (and Fox “news”), then meets with politicians and refers to other nations at “shithole” countries. The entire Republican party is at fault for making him their candidate, for not reigning him in and controlling his abusive rants. A sizeable portion of the voters in this country are also at fault for voting him and his administration into office. #Cult45 is harming this nation — hopefully not beyond repair but it’s going to be a long climb back to respectability.  A misogynist who is a serial sexual harrasser was elected to be President of the United States. He is a compulsive liar and a racist.  He was elected by wealthy people who believed he would bring them even more wealth. He was elected by people who felt marginalized and left behind in times of economic growth, who believed it when he said he’d bring the steel and coal jobs back. He was held up by white supremacy folks as being one of their own and he has proven that to be true by his words, actions, and inactions. The KKK and other groups have been emboldened by his presidency. But the group of people who voted for Number 45 and who bother me the most of all are the people who claim to follow Jesus Christ. It makes no sense at all to me as a Christian to support and excuse someone who sees forgiveness, compassion and humility as weakness, who brags about assaulting and using others, who constantly tears down others in an attempt to build himself up. And yet there have been many people who claim to be Christian — and in whose lives I have seen a desire to follow Jesus Christ — who have chosen to vote for and support this man and his administration. I’m told it’s about the judicial branch and abortion. However, I don’t see the ends justifying the means and I don’t know how to relate to people who continue to support him.

I’m angry. And sad. And frustrated.




Admit it…. you laughed.

So did I.

But then I stopped, and paused to reflect.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Who’s the busiest of them all?

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Guilty as charged.

I am trying to set aside some quiet moments this season to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas, why we look for the perfect gift for someone we love.  I am trying to be intentional about Advent, this season of preparation. Today we light the “peace” candle on the Advent wreath.

Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.

In the midst of everything happening in our nation and in the world, I need the focus of Advent more than ever.   Peace be with you.



Dual Zone

There are lights on the tree…

DSCN8486  UP above the fireplace
…and leaves hanging from the mantel.
Dual Holiday Fireplace decor
The fireplace decor sums up the situation.  Honestly, though, it’s okay if it takes another week or two to get all gussied up for Christmas — after all, it was just a few weeks ago that I managed to put away the final few pieces of the Christmas decor from last year!






What day is it again?

I can’t keep track of the days. “Black Friday” starts earlier each year, gearing up with sales on Wednesday or even Monday prior to Thanksgiving Day here in the United States.  I didn’t have time to shop since I had meetings and work to do on Monday, then work again on Tuesday and Wednesday. I did get to stay home Wednesday morning to do a little meal preparation; pies were baked on Wednesday night. Thursday our holiday guests arrived and we were firmly at home.

DSCN3537 and a quiet old lady whispering HUSH.

“And a quiet old lady whispering ‘Hush.’

I had thought we’d be standing in line at the big craft and fabric store early Friday morning — and for my beloved daughter-in-law and 70% off fleece and flannel, I would do such a crazy thing — but thankfully that was not on the ultimate agenda. Instead, we slept in, relaxed and then began “Small Business Saturday” one day early by shopping for a new-to-her Pfaff sewing machine in an older shopping neighborhood.  The rest of the day we spent resting, eating leftovers (hello, we had 7 pies plus a cranberry-rhubarb-apple crisp and a fruitcake from Costco), playing card games, and of course spending time with Little Foot. Goodnight Moon has been read countless times over the past few days to my delight.

DSCN3206 Small Business Saturday, starting it out right

Starting the day out right

We’ll enjoy “Small Business Saturday” at a slow pace, with fair trade coffee grown by small farmers, brewed at home and served in glazed ceramic cups from Gary Rith Pottery.  I might make a trip to one of two local shopping neighborhoods.  The little family will pack up and head home, and once the toys and high chair are put away, laundry started, and some general decluttering done, it will be time to contemplate decorating and Christmas gifts. After all, “Cyber Monday” and #GivingTuesday are coming up next, and Christmas is [less than] a month away.