Lilypie - First Birthday

Lilypie - Fourth Birthday

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve

 "Midnight is almost here. Wishing you a year of dreams come true."


It is just after 10pm in California and I hope everyone has had a good day!  TWO members of my family were rewarded for all of their hard work this past year with new cars! Love them both and glad they each picked something new for themselves to enjoy in this coming year!

 (Above are the two different cars safe and sound at their new homes)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Good Things" Jar!

"This January, why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year."

I LOVE this!! There are so many little notes I could have added to a jar (or a box or whatever) this past year -- in particular there was a lot of romance in the air for both sides of my family and for many family friends (engagements, weddings, babies conceived, new births, lots of birthdays to celebrate, particularly lovely sunsets, catching up with old friends...the list goes on and on!)  I am posting this today with the hopes that others will also enjoy this idea and start it/share it.  Perhaps it will be private, a journal for example; or perhaps it could be something started at work; or perhaps just as the image suggests, a jar for yourself/your family to keep track of the good/positive things in life!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

You shall understand...

"You shall understand the message of LOVE
when you understand the power of SILENCE"


A friend posted this recently, and while I love the ocean (and the particular color of this backdrop), I hope that I can at least sometimes understand a little bit about love and silence.  My head feels a bit muddled but I really want to make sure I comment (yet again!) how thankful/lucky/blessed I am to have my immediate family, my whole family (yes we all have those members who can drive us crazy but they are here for a reason!), family friends, my friends both in person and online who support and are supported... for even acquaintances because they influence life even when we may not be aware of it.  In this coming year I hope that I am given opportunities to continue to love of course, but also that I might focus on being silent -- especially when others need to be heard! I look back now and then -- and sometimes I wonder if I missed something.  Even when I was silent, but it can not hurt to practice listening more!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Recalling Christmas past

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things give off the greatest glow of happiness." ~Bob Hope

Of Christmas past... I recall many Christmas Days held at my parents house with my moms' side of the family. Our Christmas tree is filled with ornaments received as recently as this month and as far back as a decorated ornament which I believe was made by my great-grandmother (on my dads' side of the family).  There are home made ornaments, ornaments given by family and friends, ornaments passed from one to another, ornaments we picked out as gifts to ourselves for the next year...

I have found that some of my memories fade (not a big shock, it does happen eventually to everyone!) and yet I think that if there was ever a disaster that not even my books (which I love so dearly) would be in the immediate items I would grab running out the door.  Photos/photo albums, Christmas ornaments, and a few items either gifted to me by those who have passed away or given to me by people such as my parents and sister whom are thankfully here and well -- yet have given meaning and memories to items that others might consider "just things."

One of the earliest Christmas memories I clearly hold is from when I was perhaps five or six years old. As was fashionable and comfortable, I of course was wearing a pink one-piece (complete with the slipper feet -- white, on this outfit) and I was particularly thrilled to receive hard copies of several books from the "Bernstein Bears" series (still popular with young children - the family of four included "Sister Bear" who was younger than "Brother Bear" -- their antics, their parents, lessons and adventures all rolled into every book and covered in love).

Spending time with my family and friends over the years, particularly at the holidays, always creates special memories/moments which I hope will remain forever (although I do understand they can/do eventually fade/change with time)... Hopefully this holiday season - not quite done yet for New Years and Three Kings Day are still just around the corner - has given/will give positive memories for everyone to hold onto. Light and love and prayers!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hope is the little voice

Hope is the little whisper 'maybe' when it seems the entire world is shouting 'no'!

Although I love this month and the various holidays -- this season is one of my favorites -- I still have been asked questions/put into the position to feel as though I am losing hope.  Yet I have that little whisper in the back of my mind helping me to stay hopeful and think "maybe".... There is not much I have been able to do and I feel more hopeless when people ask me what I am doing/what I am currently contributing to my community, family, etc etc and I have no answer (or at least no good answer).  I have only seen close family and friends, have not gone out much (aside from shopping where I do not interact really unless I cannot find something)... I do not know.  I just feel frustrated a bit, particularly because I am trying to deal with issues I have never faced before.  Then when I feel like I am making progress, moving forward -- questions/comments are still able to sneak under my skin and hurt me.  What is that saying however?  Something along the lines of you can only feel hurt if you allow yourself to be hurt?  Blargh. Trying to be okay.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day (Dec26th)

 The first day after Christmas... Trying to rest and not think much, trying to just enjoy what I do have... Yesterday was overall a very lovely day and today I got to sleep in quite late which was nice... Unfortunately cannot share photos of decorations (or anything else!) because I did not borrow a camera that works! Perhaps some photos will be sent via email though, and I shall share them :)

 Also: an image of an old fashioned Christmas card that I love and could not find to post yesterday:



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!


 



 WISHING EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!
(Also hopefully photos to come of personal decorations)

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 24th) Downton Abbey


Downton Abbey Seasons One and Two have been taking up tons of my time! Lovely story so far (not quite finished with season two)... This is technically not a book post (although there is a book shown above "The World Of Downton Abbey" -- I have not looked for it yet)

Nearly every night I have been watching one or two episodes -- I had been waiting for a while to start watching both seasons... Also Season Three is to begin next month, however it will be live.  A great series, lots of fun being thrown back in time (also thankful that we have modern technology and all that!)...

So very excited that it is Christmas Eve!  Hopefully I can borrow a camera tomorrow and post some decorations!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Decorating Complete!



Christmas decorating has been completed (aside from me still wavering on whether or not to put some lights up around the front door) -- and I cannot get photos to load onto the computer at all!  Frustrating yet with so many decorations around (tree, various garlands, mini tree in the powder room complete with miniature ornaments, used wine corks recycled using hot glue and some paint to make trees, glass/wood/stuffed holiday figures strewn about, etc etc)... Christmas/holiday music channel found thanks to cable, when the tv is off the radio/iPod/cds are usually playing... Perhaps a different camera will work then I can share! :)

So very blessed and thankful for everyone and everything I have supporting me -- while I am nearly at my favorite holiday I still cannot shake the parts of my mind that want to drag me down, although I am fighting to do good deeds and help out how/when I can. It is so calm and quiet at night, enjoying a mug of tea, turning off all but the holiday lights/candles (sometimes music sometimes just thinking)....

Oh! This particular photo I do not think I posted -- this is an Easter Egg Tree!  I do not recall the exact story, but a husband in Germany started decorating a tree in his front yard several years back for his wife/family/neighbors/etc and it now has somewhere around ten THOUSAND eggs on it!  I believe that he was going to stop decorating it soon, so I saved the photo to my computer because I love the image and I think it is a great idea.  On the other hand I only see myself really going to that extent of decorating at Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good night, see you tomorrow!


Recently, looking at the moon, I have been reminded of my godson and his twin sister - particularly how they would look for the moon and say good night... I do not recall if I commented here or not but a house across the street from me has been sold and worked on for the past month or two.  I went by to say hello and although I met a friend of the family of three who is moving in, I have not yet had a chance to say hello to the family themselves. Apparently they will be moving in right at the end of the year (their friend was doing some work for them). Mentioning the new neighbors in this post because it seems that they have a young daughter - did not get a specific age, but the general guess was that she is currently three years old.

For various reasons there is a chance that my godson and his family will not be able to visit CA this June/July as they have been able to in past years.  A Christmas visit would be a first and quite lovely - however it is always expensive to travel, particularly with a growing family at the holidays! So I have decided to try and make new friends with the neighbor girl; also there is a friend of mine who is six and a half months along and she wants me to be very involved since it will be her first child. I am quite lucky to have these two baby/toddler/child opportunities so close (especially when I miss my France family!) because I really do miss being able to play with young children, learn from them, teach them, watch them grow...

Not much to say really, my Monday book post will be slightly different this week but adding it to reading an entire brand new series last week -- no wonder I am ready to say good night and see you tomorrow! Hopefully everyone is doing well and having a good weekend.  Also my favorite holiday is literally just around the corner -- early Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A week ago (12.14.12)


Angel memorial near Sandy Hook Elementary School

Today is the one week anniversary of a tragic loss.  I do not know if any shooting "rampage" could be stopped prior to it occurring (although hindsight is 20/20 as they say)... But there really are not any memorials for Nancy Lanza (the shooter, Adam Lanzas mother) and I wanted to make a point to say that despite whatever choices she did or did not make in her lifetime, I still think it is horrible that she was shot four times while laying in her bed before the twenty children and six adults were also murdered at Sandy Hook.  To date, officials have not found a reason for Adams actions -- so I am probably taking an unpopular stance here but I also mourn the loss of his life.  Obviously I would have preferred that he had NOT taken 27 lives and causing so much pain and confusion prior to taking his own life; however he was obviously not doing alright/not in a correct state of mind.  The loss of 28 more lives in a time when we are still at war, when countries across the world are still fighting, when there is hunger everywhere (yes, here in first world country USA), where we still mourn the losses of 9/11 -- and so much more... This is a holiday season, where hope, happiness, and joy should be found. Hopefully today will be my last memorial/commentary on Sandy Hook -- unfortunately with the world we are living in today there is likely something bad/negative around the corner. For the rest of the day I am going to try to maintain an illusion that everything is okay, listen to holiday music, do things that make me happy, and try to forget the hurt in the world.

"May the choirs of angels come to greet you,
May they speed you to Paradise"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where it is you need to be



"You need to see that life is not always perfect. We will not always get what we want. And though it hurts alot, what should've happened, happened. Who should've left, left, and whatever has thrown you off course will always bring you to where it is you need to be."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



"Love comes to those who still hope although they've been disappointed, to those who still believe although they've been betrayed, to those who still love although they've been hurt before."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I never make the same mistake twice

"I never make the same mistake twice. I make it like five or six times, you know, just to be sure."


Today I feel as though this quote can apply to many areas of my life, and I have made the mistakes many more than just five times.  Currently in a frustrating place where I want to see things in a good light and I want to help others and I want to do good -- yet I feel like I keep failing and I am just...
Frustrated.

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 17th)

"Beautiful Creatures" Novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Hello again -- Mondays are book days here on my blog... Last week I talked about how I had come across the "Beautiful Creatures" series and how I have been waiting to get and read them.  This past week I found a little bookstore I had nearly forgotten about and was able to get the first three in paperback for $9.99 each which was exactly how much it would have cost me online (minus any shipping charges).  Of course there apparently is always some type of "glitch" with me, and they were re-stocking so when I first went in they only had books one and three.  A day and a half later however (when I was done reading the first book and started to re-read it because I wanted to move along with the story and was impatient!) I received a call that I could swing by and pick up the second book.  All four of these novels (set in the South, mainly told by the p.o.v. of a teenage boy about the new girl in town, how he finds out that she and her family have magic/use magic - they are called casters in this storyline, not magicians as in others - and the storyline follows good and bad casters, another series about good and evil, choices to be made, and how the magical world and the regular world interact particularly in their town.  Oh! I got the fourth book (which only came out a few weeks back, so it is only currently in hardback form) from my local Target. Very much enjoyed all four books, but each was about 500 or 550 pages long and I think my eyes need a bit of a break this coming week!  Not sure if I will end up reading much, particularly since a week from today will be Christmas Eve, but I am sure I will at least re-read one of my holiday stories :)

Have you read anything interesting lately?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

An opinion on Sandy Hook

Let me start by saying I am not sure if this was truly said by Morgan Freeman (his take/opinion/comments about the mass shooting on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School) yet since I do understand what is behind the statement itself I am going to put it here... I have not been sleeping well and still feel like I cannot create a "proper" post.  I will try tomorrow.  For today I leave you with what has been circulating for the past two days. (Not claiming this is mine, nor that I have the right to copy it, it has been on various Face.Book pages and I am moving it from there to here). Another opinion:



TURN OFF THE NEWS.......

Morgan Freeman's brilliant take on what happened yesterday :

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.


It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Silent Night" Post from The Bug And The Bean blog

Still thinking about the mass shooting, especially those 20 children and their families, also everyone who has been/will be impacted... one comment that I read amongst everything else really stuck in my head:
"I’ve been crying all day. I can’t even imagine. I feel bad because my husband came home with an early Christmas gift and I am like thanks but all I can think about are those 40 parents with wrapped presents under the tree that their children will never get to open."

A friend of mine linked to a blog post labeled Silent Night (from a blog titled "The Bug And The Bean") and it is one of the closest posts to what I feel but cannot articulate -- this post articulates the weight, the sorrow and eventual moving on which I cannot phrase.  I encourage you to read it.

That is all from me for today.  Prayers, love, support, and ::HUGS:: to all

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School



I cannot gather my thoughts to write clearly but this image gets the point across....mostly.
(Sad, hurt, sending ::HUGS:: love and prayers)
"Prayers. For the children and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Ornament Swap! Take Two!

 

Hello again!  I was one of the lucky people in this particular swap to have TWO people assigned to me!  Today I received my second package and wanted to share with you (apologies in advance for my poor photo skills today!) You can check my first swap post here if you want.

Today however is all about Jenny at ACupFullOfLife [her page is currently down because she is busy] who sent me this wonderful package today! The card had a lovely note to me and the reason why I am getting this a little on the late side is because she was on a fun vacation -- but had kindly emailed me prior letting me know I would receive my gift a bit on the late side



I love how cute the packaging and the card are! I still unfortunately do not have a tree up (I know, I know -- it is already the 13 and Christmas is on the 25th!  Eeep!) Until a tree is up, I have hung this WONDERFULY CUTE Santa from a bookcase knob!  How cute is the wooden beard and the tiny wreath the santa is holding? Thank you Jenny for my second swap package, I love the whole process, doing it again next year!

 (A bit too much photo flash, I did warn you -- but CUTE new ornament!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12


Today is the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year...
Makes me feel simultaneously special and old. You?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reading, errands, and chores!

(Yes -- unfortunately I did this two weeks ago. Sent them this exact image and paid for movies)

So I have all four books!!! Yesterday I talked about the "Beautiful Creatures" series... I ended up getting all four in person, no online purchases for me this time around!  Sunday night I actually got the first of four and between then and 2pm today (Tues) I read the entire 400+ page book and started to re-read it because book two had to be re-stocked.  Starting book two tonight and am planning on flying through the last three as I did with the first!

Today I also woke up earlier than usual (just after 9am) and did various errands (fabric store, grocery store, etc) and caught up on chores (several loads of dishes and laundry -- no dishwasher ever, just me!)... Was thinking of the second book all day, finally made it online to post and am now going to say goodbye and READ!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 10th)


Am very excited because I am about to begin reading (well as soon as I can get my hands on all of them!) a new book series!! The "Beautiful Creatures" set will eventually have a total of five books (as I currently understand) and the first three have been out for a while, as the above paperback image indicates.  Since I knew this was going to be longer than a one or two book set, I decided to ignore it when an "old" friend (from when we were in college together) mentioned the storyline and authors (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl apparently co-wrote these books?)...

Anyway, the fourth book (Beautiful Redemption) has been out for about a month now and so I think the time has finally come for me to read the series!  Local libraries only have the first book (and some have the third - none seem to have the second??)... Therefore I have decided to buy the books. Barns and Noble have all four currently on sale (instead of $70 which would be too much) for only $36. Less than ten dollars each for all of the published books is a great deal.

This series is set in a small Southern town and includes/is centered around magic (the witches/wizards/magicians are called "casters")... I realize I have several series that I enjoy re-reading that involve magic, including one that is not technically historical fiction yet the three sisters who inherited their powers from their deceased mother are paired with significant historical activity ranging from Catherine de Medici to the early days of Queen Elizabeth I... The Harry Potter books are filled with magic (although this series is not in a school, nor do they use wands)... I also have just finished going over the Twilight Saga books again (since the final movie -- one of the RARE instances I have read the books and still am okay with the movies! -- the last movie came out and I watched it with a good friend last week)... Yep, guess I am more entrenched in various magic worlds than I thought!  Enjoying all of them however so it works!

Am going to wait and see how much it will cost for shipping -- that is pretty much the only good thing about all the Borders bookstores closing near me -- often B and N can just be called and they will "special order" whatever I want (because 99 percent of the time the only B and N near me does NOT have what I want!)... their "special order" costs me nothing.  Rather, it has never cost me anything above the sticker price because I have never backed out of whatever I wanted to buy. Alright, too much computer time for me, saving and sending into the blog community!

Hope everyone reads at least one book before the year is over!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent and Hanukkah


Sunday tends to be a religious day (even for those who are not religious -- well, okay, I think it is a day when many people enjoy being able to get in some rest and/or partake in religious activities)... Also I had no clue what to post here today.  In keeping with my personal mission to post something daily, and the hope to not bore whomever reads this, I have found photos that represent both centerpieces for those who are Catholic (an Advent Wreath) and those who are Jewish (a Hanukkah Menorah).

The image on the left is an Advent Wreath. It consists of four candles around the circle (three purple, one pink) and a single white candle in the center. (Sometimes all five candles are white, with the appropriate colored ribbon around each one). The wreath is a way to "count down" to Christmas Day, the celebration of Jesus being born (ie the white/center candle). The Advent Wreath is lit clockwise, one candle every Sunday per week during the Advent season: purple, purple, pink (for joy, the halfway point has been reached), purple, then finally the center/white candle on Christmas Day.

The image on the right is a Hanukkah Menorah. It consists of nice candle slots in a straight line, with eight candles/holes at the same height and the center candle/hole making that first candle higher than the others. Most Menorahs I have viewed are similar in shape to the image I have above -- one raised base with a raised center candle and four candles on each side, creating a total of nine candles in a single horizontal line. Please correct me if I am wrong about the candle color -- I have primarily seen all white candles. There are several variations however, both in the shape of the Menorah itself and some have different colored candles -- yet most keep the "highest" the center candle white. The center candle is lit the first night of Hanukkah and the candles (with various special prayers) are lit one per night during the eight nights of Hanukkah, from left to right (when you are the individual lighting the candle).

As mentioned earlier this month, please feel free to always give me more information about holidays celebrated in your religion (particularly in December!) and correct me/teach me about anything I post that is incorrect.  Thank you and I hope everyone has a good weekend!

 (My personal online Advent wreath -- on the left was last week; today is the second Sunday in Advent so the image has changed. Now there are two candles lit.  Next week the lit pink candle shall mark the third Sunday)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Hanukkah!


As mentioned several times, I have been raised mainly (only?) with Christmas in my past.  In the past couple of years I have slowly gained a few friends whose families celebrate Hanukkah instead of (or sometimes in addition to a partial Christmas).  Therefore I would like to share this cute Snoopy announcement one of my friends put up on her page and wish you all a Happy Hanukkah!

The month of December is filled with many holidays, but personally I only really hear of Hanukkah and Christmas -- if you celebrate others please share, I would love to learn more!! I do have a very poor grasp on Hanukkah (have seen it spelled "Chanukah" - not sure if there is a religious difference or not)... I remember vaguely some elementary school teachings. There had been fighting, a battle, and all of the holy oil was desecrated or destroyed.

All that is, except for one single days worth -- which miraculously lasted for eight days, allowing more pure/holy oil to be created.  The joy and celebration is shared/taught every year with an eight day celebration, lighting one candle on the Menorah each night. I only recall the dreidel, a four sided top, each representing "all" "nothing" "half" and... "put in" sorry, had to search online for the fourth side, remember this is not a holiday I am familiar with (yet) which the children play with.  Also that potato cakes "lakes" are a very popular food to serve at this time of year.

...Looking over what I just wrote it sounds a bit foolish, but hey, better to show that I am willing to learn than to ignore the equivalent of "my" Christmas, right?  (Maybe?) Anyone who knows more or wants to share please feel free to!  Thanks for following my ramblings, and congratulations to many I know who are in the process of expecting, are about to deliver, and/or have recently delivered a new miracle -- I wish all of you joy and good luck and am sending prayers with ::HUGS::

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor

 December 7, 1941 - a date which will live on in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Photo of the Pearl Harbor memorial, located directly over the USS Arizona


Difficult to remember the devastation that occurred not only at Pearl Harbor on this day about seven decades ago but also all of the destruction and loss that the entire war brought to the entire world.  My immediate family and I were fortunate enough to take one trip to Hawaii many years ago... While we were there we spent an entire day focused on the memorial (and obviously while in school it was brought up, etc etc)... Just taking a post to remember, even as I dislike remembering something so painful/destructive -- it is a huge part of all of our history and there are so many people that deserve to have time taken out of our current lives to think of them, remember and say an extra prayer. Giving thanks for those who lost their lives, those who lost their loved ones, so many different things to remember and pray for...


Personally feeling crappy as a female today although I truly am deeply thrilled for two of my friends -- learned one is six months with her first baby and the other made it safely through her first trimester.  I love the holiday season but today I feel so out of place and I do not know where I belong nor what to do about it.  I know I should not be feeling crappy but I can't shake it. Am doing extra laundry and put on holiday music. Love to all

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown and Linus searching for the meaning of Christmas
(image found online, from the movie "A Charlie Brown Christmas")


I know I have mentioned this several times already, but since December is filled with various holidays, it is my favorite month of the year.  Personally I have only ever celebrated Christmas but I am open to all holidays and all the joys this particular month can bring.  I am so blessed to have the family, friends, etc (both in person and online) who are part of my life.

Yesterday evening I started a catch up session with a friend I had only seen twice since January and it was great :) We are so many months behind however that we are going to meet next week sometime -- and congratulations are in order for her and her finance because they are expecting -- are six months this week!  Am so happy for them both!

Another holiday note -- I have not yet gotten cards nor updated my address book!  This year I really want to mail out cards, a feeling that was simply bolstered by taking part in the ornament exchange (via blog) that I did -- reminded me how fun "just because" mail is! Need to work on that!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December = the holiday month


I love the month of December because it is THE month filled with holidays :)  Although my family has always (only?) celebrated Christmas, I am always open to any and all holidays -- particularly during this month in which so many people around the world tend to go above and beyond to be helpful, good, kind, caring, generous, donate, etc etc etc... This image I took when I went to Disneyland CA in December 2011.  It ended up being just a quick trip, but the decorations were lovely.  I think I shall try and take photos of how the holidays are in my neighborhood/nearby neighborhoods as these next couple of weeks go by... Also want to perhaps include images of decoration ideas/meal ideas for next years holiday season.

There is a "bad" habit I have fallen into -- I tend to only purchase items right before a holiday, particularly in December.  An achievable goal is to figure out what I want to do for next year, and then buy items at a discount and get back into crafting every month (instead of just for certain occasions). I have been looking at various blogs online (as well as general photos/images) and I think that this should be a fairly easy plan to put into action ::HUGS:: Have a wonderful month and please feel free to share your holiday experiences with me, I would love to learn more/find out more!

P.S. So excited I am finally catching up with a friend of mine who has gotten engaged since I last saw her!  Yay! (Also aside from catching up we will probably go see a movie -- absolutely going out to eat)... Today is also my weekly farmers market, maybe I shall skip it this week...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Good Women


"Here's to Good Women
May we know them
May we be them
May we raise them"


Recently I wonder if I have been slipping and I would like to be sure that I reach out and support others as well as ask for support for myself. I know I was absolutely a good woman... so many days now I find myself unable/unwilling to do things I used to.  More energy is something I could get if I exercised more and that is just one example.  It is important for me to get offline and be a bit more active, even though most of the time I find myself uncomfortable when I try to enter new/different situations.  Thank you to everyone (children, men, and women) who is good/positive/supportive... Please continue helping by doing the good you do! Thank you ::HUGS::

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 3rd)

"Your lack of obsession with books makes you extremely unattractive"

Although I disagree with smoking (watched slowly as lung cancer, throat cancer, esophageal cancer, etc took the first twelve years of my life to kill my grandfather -- he died exactly three days after my twelfth birthday.  Needless to say, I have never wanted to smoke or do drugs because of that.  I was so very, very blessed to have that gift although it came at a horrid price.  So many people try/start things because it is cool, or their friends do it, or people they respect do it... I lived in a different bubble which helped me get through many things that I have seen others caught up in.  Some enjoy it, as I know he did, but I only really recall the nitty-gritty end of life part to it and so personally I will not smoke. Ever. I know plenty of people who do, and I would not rub it in their faces that I do not because that is not my place.  In my life... well, memories are all I really have left of so much.  Keeps me in one place.  Perhaps some see that as a bad thing -- but I hope it works out for me).

Ahem.  Pardon me, that was not where I was intending to go (also some memories just hurt too much so I want to stop them).  As I was starting to say, although I disagree with the woman in this image smoking, I had to copy and borrow it for the saying! I had not realized it, although I should have considering how much I read! When it comes to looking for dates/relationships the guy MUST at least enjoy reading something.  Could be a thin comic or magazine or a newspaper or series of books -- but if they hate reading, well, that is a problem for me.  I suppose it also subconsciously has had something to do with education/being with someone who is educated/interested in something more than just clubs or bars??  Not quite sure how to phrase all of that...

No photo updates of book covers (sorry! shall try to be better next Monday!) but I am still working my way through historical fiction in England.  Ironically much of my recent reading has included Anne Boleyn, the last "commoner" prior to the current Duchess of Cambridge (born Kate Middleton) to be part of the royal family of England.  (Anne was favored by King Henry VIII and he simply gave her positions, power, money, etc and then divorced his first wife and made her his second queen, Queen Anne -- whereas Will and Kate had a long courtship with ups and downs followed by an engagement, a wedding, and currently the hopes of a first pregnancy).

Hrm.  Lots of rambling out of me that seems to not necessarially be taking part in reading. Sorry, next week. Looking forward to enjoying as much as I can this month, I love the holiday season!  Also I have only ever celebrated Christmas before, and recently have new neighbors who celebrate Hanukkah so this year will be the first time I get to at least closely observe another wonderful holiday! "Tis the season to be jolly..."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My godson met Mickey Mouse!


My godson met Mickey Mouse (as seen above with his dad) but apparently his twin sister fell asleep and so she and mom are both not in this photo : (

I am both very happy and fairly sad that I missed the first Disney trip (okay, by that I really mean missing ANY and all of their "firsts"!) with my godson, his twin sister, and their parents.
It would not have been possible for me to fly to France however, and so I shall wait for an email about their adventure and in the meantime just enjoy the photos and fun that went on!

Also I have not been to Disneyland myself this year (yet? technically a few weeks left) and I would never begrudge anyone who had the opportunity to visit a Disney park! :)


Holiday Ornament Exchange Note:

If you did not happen to read my post yesterday "December 1st!" (or the original in November) you should go and take a look at the results of my first ever blog swap/exchange!  My first daisy-chain holiday ornament giving/receiving was a ton of fun, and I am going to try and visit all of the blogs that participated to read their reveals (however nearly 200 of us took part so I am realistically hoping to comment on a third of the reveals -- no offense intended to anyone, just not enough hours in the day!)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 1st!



I created a post the day I received my first package HERE
(Please read/comment on the link above not today)


Just wanted to make sure I still technically have my post about the Holiday Ornament Swap
(hosted by Dreaming of Dimples and Living in Yellow)
up on Dec. 1st as requested


HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!

Again of course a THANK YOU to Taush.O who sent me my package!!


EDIT/UPDATE: Kari at Cupcakes And Bling received and posted about the package I sent her!! Am thrilled my first swap has gone so wonderfully well!!  Read her post here!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hand painted holiday wine glasses!


A friend of mine found these online and while I do not drink wine, I had to save and share this photo because I think that they are a great and festive gift idea!  Not positive what paint to buy to make them (obviously some safety to consider when painting anything that will be near/on/holding food or drink!) however this could be a really great gift to make for friends/family if anyone wants to this holiday season!  Or any season for that matter -- glasses could be decorated for any holiday, birthday, special occasion, or with fun quotes/images "just because".... Am looking forward to the month of December, the world seems to pick up a bit of cheer that other months do not hold and as you can tell I have been a bit down recently -- just the month to help me become more cheerful and giving!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Silence doesn't always mean yes


I am not using this image to try and point out that there are people I know who "don't even care to understand" ... I know I am frustrated with myself and I think I do not know many (any?) people who can relate to my situation. If I push a little there are absolutely people who would take a phone call or read (well, at least respond) to an email... I just feel as though I currently am still stuck -- I cannot explain things in a way that will have others understand and help me.  So I find myself feeling helpless.  That should not be true but unfortunately I think I do feel helpless -- which in turn of course makes me mad/upset/frustrated. How fun it is to be me today!

Thank you to all of you who are trying and reaching out to me. I appreciate it so much more than I can express.  Am thankful for the support I do get


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Forget how much it hurts and try again


When I was younger it really was not a problem for me to fail and start over again.  After I got sick -- at first I could not focus at all, I have memory gaps.  Then I started to just exist, and eventually I started to live again.  There was even a few years where I was doing alright and could fail and start again.  Recently... I find that I am having a lot of trouble forgetting how much things hurt.  People, promises broken, hope lost... Having difficulty wrapping my head around various things, sometimes hurting other people in the process but never on purpose.  It is not my intention to ever be hurtful.  I am missing strength... support... hope... I keep trying and either being told I am not doing well enough or am asked why I am not working or helping out more or... So much frustration and not knowing how to make things work anymore; it is just so frustrating and it would be easier to not have this moment

Tired of so many things...yes, I know this makes me ungrateful. Not happy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Her hair was up" (borrowed story)


Her hair was up in a pony tail, Her favorite dress tied with a bow. Today was Daddy's Day at school, And she couldn't wait to go. But her mummy tried to tell her, That she probably should stay home. Why the kids might not understand, If she went to school alone. But she was not afraid; She knew just what to say. What to tell her classmates Of why he wasn't there today. But still her mother worried, For her to face this day alone. And that was why once again, She tried to keep her daughter home. But the little girl went to school Eager to tell them all. About a dad she never sees A dad who never calls. There were daddies along the wall in back, For everyone to meet. Children squirming impatiently, Anxious in their seats One by one the teacher called A student from the class. To introduce their daddy, As seconds slowly passed. At last the teacher called her name, Every child turned to stare. Each of them was searching, A man who wasn't there. 'Where's her daddy at?' She heard a boy call out. 'She probably doesn't have one,' Another student dared to shout. And from somewhere near the back, She heard a daddy say, 'Looks like another deadbeat dad, Too busy to waste his day.'


The words did not offend her, As she smiled up at her Mum. And looked back at her teacher, Who told her to go on. And with hands behind her back, Slowly she began to speak. And out from the mouth of a child, Came words incredibly unique.


'My Daddy couldn't be here, Because he lives so far away. But I know he wishes he could be, Since this is such a special day. And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know. All about my daddy, And how much he loves me so. He loved to tell me stories He taught me to ride my bike. He surprised me with pink roses, And taught me to fly a kite. We used to share fudge sundaes, And ice cream in a cone. And though you cannot see him. I'm not standing here alone. 'Cause my daddy's always with me, Even though we are apart I know because he told me, He'll forever be in my heart' With that, her little hand reached up, And lay across her chest. Feeling her own heartbeat, Beneath her favorite dress. And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads, Her mother stood in tears. Proudly watching her daughter, Who was wise beyond her years. For she stood up for the love Of a man not in her life. Doing what was best for her, Doing what was right. And when she dropped her hand back down, Staring straight into the crowd. She finished with a voice so soft, But its message clear and loud. 'I love my daddy very much, he's my shining star. And if he could, he'd be here, But heaven's just too far. You see he is a British soldier And died just this past year When a roadside bomb hit his convoy And taught Britians to fear. But sometimes when I close my eyes, it's like he never went away.' And then she closed her eyes, And saw him there that day. And to her mothers amazement, She witnessed with surprise. A room full of daddies and children, All starting to close their eyes. Who knows what they saw before them, Who knows what they felt inside. Perhaps for merely a second, They saw him at her side. 'I know you're with me Daddy,' To the silence she called out. And what happened next made believers, Of those once filled with doubt. Not one in that room could explain it, For each of their eyes had been closed. But there on the desk beside her, Was a fragrant long-stemmed rose. And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, By the love of her shining star. And given the gift of believing, That heaven is never too far.


Take the time...to live and love. Until eternity. R.I.P. Brave Soldiers everywhere xxx Please like and share if you support our soldiers ♥